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Why women are less likely than men to die from covid-19
05 February 2022

Ramallah - Nisaa FM - For the same reasons that women live longer: less booze and bravado, and different biology.

MEN ARE around 1.7 times more likely than women to die from covid-19, according to a recent paper by researchers at Yale University, published in Science. Men older than 30 have a significantly greater mortality risk. That is striking, but perhaps should not come as a surprise. Human lifespans have climbed steadily in recent decades, but wide disparities remain between women and men (see chart). Globally women live nearly five years longer than men, up from three years in 1950. The reasons for that gap are both biological and environmental, and help to explain why more men are dying from covid-19.

For one thing, men smoke and drink more. In Russia, where male drinkers outnumber female ones by four-to-one, alcohol was responsible for about three-quarters of all deaths among working-age men during the 1990s, widening the gender gap in life expectancy to more than 12 years. It is now down to ten years, the same as in neighbouring Belarus and Ukraine, thanks in part to a big reduction in drinking. Boozing contributes to conditions such as heart disease and liver cirrhosis. These sorts of comorbidities make it harder for men’s bodies to fight off a disease such as covid-19.