In Queensland, men with COVID die more than women. Experts are not entirely sure why

More than twice as many men have died with COVID-19 than women in Queensland, data show.

Since the state’s first case was diagnosed on the Gold Coast two years ago, Queensland has recorded 171 deaths – 115 of them men and 56 women. All but seven of them have lost their lives during the ongoing Omicron wave.

Experts say it is unclear why men are more vulnerable to the pandemic virus than women, although the phenomenon has been reported in large parts of the world, including China and Italy.

Brisbane-based infectious disease doctor Paul Griffin said the causes were “complex” with no easy answers.

Dr. Griffin, an associate professor at the University of Queensland, said that higher death rates in men may be related to the fact that they are more likely to have chronic conditions that put people at increased risk if they develop COVID-19, such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

“But I do not think it has been established,” he said.

Griffith University infectious disease expert Nigel McMillan speculated that gender differences in immunity may be involved.

“We know that the immune system works differently in men and women, and women tend to have a stronger immune system,” Professor McMillan said.

“Women have higher numbers of some of the white blood cells that fight disease and they have increased antibody production.”

Inventor of the cervical cancer vaccine Ian Frazer, an immunologist, said recent research based on US data suggests that social problems may be as important as biological ones in determining why men appear to be more exposed to COVID than women.

This study, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, looked at gender differences in COVID-19 deaths across the United States over a 55-week period between April 2020 and May 2021.

It found “significant” variation over time and between states.

A patient on a stretcher with a mask is loaded by an ambulance with a large number of ambulances in the background.
Men also appear to be more likely to die from COVID in the United States.(AP: John Minchillo)

For example, men in Texas had higher COVID-19 death rates across each week of the study. In New York, men were more likely to die in all but three of the analyzed weeks, but in Connecticut, more women than men died in 22 of the weeks examined.

The US researchers suggested that differences in gender health behaviors, pre-existing health status, socioeconomic factors, and men who are more likely to work in jobs at increased risk of being exposed to the pandemic virus may all help explain COVID -19 genital death parts.

They said several studies had shown that women were more likely to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands than men.

While acknowledging that men are less likely to consult a doctor than women, Professor McMillan said this explained gender differences in outcomes for long-term illnesses, such as cancer, but he did not think it was a significant factor in COVID. 19.

Older Queenslanders make up the majority of deaths

Data obtained by ABC show that more Queensland men have died with COVID-19 than women across every decade of their lives – except when it comes to 100-year-olds.

Of the three Queensland residents in the 100s who died after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 were two women.

Older Queensland residents are overrepresented in the state’s COVID-19 deaths, with people in their 70s or older accounting for 83 percent of cases.

Of the 171 COVID-19 deaths in the state, 142 have been at least 70 years old.

The youngest Queenslander to die with COVID-19 was just 18. Another man was 28, while five Queenslanders were in their 30s.

Yesterday was Queensland’s deadliest day in the pandemic, with the state recording 18 deaths, including 12 in nursing homes.

Data from the Federal Health Department indicate that 85 of Queensland’s 171 COVID-19 deaths have been in geriatric care.

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