COVID-19 much more fatal for men, especially taking age into account
A topical trope is that COVID-19 “does not discriminate.” This is false. A range of factors, including the intersecting dimensions of class, race, preexisting health status and geography make some people much more vulnerable. Some are more likely to contract the virus, especially those living in denser urban areas or working in close proximity with others. Existing inequalities in preexisting conditions such as hypertension or diabetes also magnify the impact of the virus.
But there is one very large gap that cannot be easily explained by either of these factors: the gender gap in mortality rates. Men and women have similar odds of contracting the virus, although there is some variation across countries: in some, women make up the majority of cases; in others, men do. But men face a higher risk of death than women, across the U.S. and indeed across the globe. In England and Wales, for example, male social care workers are dying from COVID-19 at a rate of 23.4 deaths per 100,000, compared to a rate of 9.6 for their female peers.