A new study shows that the enzyme usually infected by the new coronavirus is found in a greater number in men’s bold when compared to women’s. This naturally puts them at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Most of the countries have also seen a greater number of men dying from the virus. This contrariety was first noted in China when they came to realise that 2.8 per cent of men who had contracted the virus died from it, while there was only 1.7 per cent of women who succumbed to the infection.

Later, Italy and South Korea noticed similar percentages too.

Angiotensin-converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the enzyme present on the outside of the cell. It binds the coronavirus to itself and later allows it to enter the cell and infect it. As it is present in men’s blood in a higher number, their infection can be worse than that of women.

Scientists measured ACE2 concentrations in blood samples taken from more than 3,500 heart failure patients, both men and women, from 11 European countries. But the study started before the coronavirus outbreak and did not include patients with COVID-19.

Later, other researches began to point to ACE2 as key to the way the new coronavirus gets into cells and the researchers saw the overlaps in the study.

Researches and studies are trying to explain why men so far seemed more vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, compared with women. While so far there has not been an exhaustive response, doctors suggest that the answer lies in the combination of behavioural, immunological, hormonal and genetic factors.

Data collected so far has shown that people consuming more alcohol and tobacco are likely going to suffer to a greater extent the effect of the coronavirus disease. Data gathered in 2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that men drink about five times more alcohol than women. Men are also nearly five times as likely to smoke as women.

Another reason that women’s immune systems may function differently is because of the extra X chromosome that women have.

Women have two X chromosomes (XX) while men only have one (XY), and this is considered relevant to the immune response because a significant number of genes that regulate our immune response are coded on the X chromosome.

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