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Why are men more likely to die from Covid?  It is complicated.

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Why are men more likely to die from Covid? It is complicated.

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“You can have neighboring states, like Connecticut and New York, that have a totally different pattern but still had the same surge,” Dr. Richardson said.

Cumulatively over 55 weeks, death rates were slightly higher for women in two states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In nine states, including Connecticut, the rates were roughly equal. And in the rest of the country, death rates were higher among men.

Sex differences in genes, hormones or immune responses are not likely to explain these differences, the researchers said.

“There would be no reason for biology to be so variable over time and space,” said Katharine Lee, a biological anthropologist and engineer at Washington University in St. Louis and author of the new study. .

But social and behavioral factors, the researchers say, could help explain many of these patterns.

For example, men are more likely to have jobs in transport, factories, meatpacking plants, agriculture and construction – occupations with higher rates of exposure to Covid-19 and death. Men are also more likely to be incarcerated and end up homeless, increasing their risk of exposure to the virus.

Women are more likely than men to report washing their hands, wearing a mask and complying with social distancing restrictions, which may reduce their risk of contracting the virus. And women are more likely to be vaccinated.

The researchers hypothesized that states with more public health restrictions might see a reduction in gender differences. In New York, which saw a significantly higher number of male deaths in the first six weeks of the pandemic, death rates leveled off once restrictions were put in place. The differences seen in New York could also be partly explained by better data collection, as well as underreporting of deaths in long-term care facilities, where the majority of residents are women.

Why are men more likely to die from Covid? It is complicated.

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