The Pandemic COVID-19 Is Killing More Men Than Women. Why?

COVID-19 Is More Likely To Cause Death In Men. Why? - DoctorOnCall

COVID-19 is a lot more complex than people may think, with the ability to cause light sickness in some and severe complications in others, with some cases even leading to death. High risks groups include, children, elders above 65 years old, people with chronic diseases, and pregnant women. One of the irregularities show up in the data, that being men infected with COVID-19 have a higher mortality rate compared to women. Why is this? Read on to figure out.

Men Lifestyle

The lifestyle and daily habits of a person plays an important role in the aspect of individual health. Men are observed to lean more towards unhealthy lifestyles, especially in their daily nutrition. Vegetables and fruits have a lot of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are crucial for a person's health. Studies also show that most men lack awareness of personal health, and will usually only seek medical treatment when the illness is already severe. At this point, the condition will have progressed to a severe state and will often be difficult to treat.

In some studies, it was shown that men also often have poor hygiene practices, such as neglecting to wash their hands properly. This then allows infections to easily spread.

Other than that, most men usually work outside rather than in an enclosed space, where they are more likely to be exposed to the disease or engage in group activities that allow viral infections to spread faster.


Frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages can lower the immune system and make a person more susceptible to COVID-19. Men are known to drink alcohol regularly and more likely to consume it in large quantities compared to women.



Smoking is also one of the habits that are commonly associated with men. You are already aware that smoking can lead to various illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, as well as other health problems related to the respiratory system. 

It is reported that a high number of COVID-19 cases in men are smokers, which is a possible factor in how they were able to get infected with the disease. Active smokers have a low immune system, allowing them to be infected quicker. Smokers' respiratory systems and lungs have more  Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme -2  (ACE-2) than non-smokers. A high level of ACE-2 receptors in the body will allow the virus to invade the lung tissues easier and disrupt the respiratory system. Those who smoke are more likely to get severe complications if infected with COVID-19. 


Overweight or obesity can occur as a result of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. Obese people have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and heart problems. The diseases listed are the example of a chronic health problem which is one of the risk factors of severe COVID-19 infection.

Chronic Disease

According to the World Health Organization WHO, individuals with chronic diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease have a higher risk of mortality when infected with COVID-19. Although both men and women can suffer from chronic diseases, men are more likely to have it compared to women.

Estrogen Hormone

A study done on the role of estrogen hormone in protecting women from COVID-19 was published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine Research in October 2020. This study found that the estrogen hormone in a female is very important in supporting the immune system and has shown some antiviral property.

Genetic Structure

Generally, women have the advantage because they have two X chromosomes, while men only have one. The X chromosome contains the largest quantity of immune-related genes in the entire human genome. Theoretically, this would give women a double advantage over men in producing a better and more efficient immune response.

Hygiene Awareness

International social studies show that women have a better awareness of the importance of hygiene care compared to men. Women are more likely to care about the aspects of personal hygiene and have more tendencies to wash their hands regularly. This behavior causes women to have lower rates of COVID-19 infection.


The mortality rate in Malaysia involving men is 70%. However, there is no scientific study that has proven that gender is the main factor of COVID-19 mortality. Therefore, whether you are male or female, you need to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19. Do so by following the SOPs, practicing hygiene and physical distancing, getting the vaccine, and wearing your mask in public. 


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