Research finds why men are likely to suffer more from coronavirus than women

ACE2 enzyme which SARS-CoV-2 uses to enter the cell is found in higher amounts in men, particularly in the testicles

Existing data shows that there are more number of men being affected by coronavirus compared to women, and now Research has found why it is the case.

Coronavirus uses a key enzyme -ACE2- in order to enter and infect cells. A large European study showed that these enzymes exist in higher amounts in men than women. This discovery was published on Monday.

Another study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the fatality rate among men was 2.8 percent. However, it is only 1.7 percent when it came to women.

SARS-CoV-2 Pixabay

Further, US data from almost 1.5 million tests showed that 56 percent women were tested among them 16 percent tested positive for novel coronavirus. Contrastingly 44 percent of all those tested were men, among whom 23 percent of them tested positive, reports NPR.

The reason

The angiotensin 2 converting enzyme (ACE2) found in several parts of the body such as the heart, lungs and kidneys, is exploited by COVID-19 virus to enter the cell. European Heart Journal published a study that claimed that the same ACE2 enzyme is found in higher amounts in men.

Novel Coronavirus NIAID / Creative Commons

The research team made the finding by measuring concentrations of ACE2 enzyme in blood samples from more than 3,500 patients with heart failure from 11 European countries. It did not include COVID-19 patients as this study began before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the researchers.

However, the study overlapped in finding significant results that helps coronavirus research. Data further says that men also suffer serious or critical complications compared to women.

ACE inhibitors do not increase COVID-19 risk

Also, the study found that drugs prescribed for congestive heart failure, diabetes, and kidney disease, called 'ACE inhibitors' do not lead to higher ACE2 concentrations, which means that the risk of coronavirus infection for such patients is as normal people.

When the researchers found that ACE2 was an important biomarker for coronavirus, which was found much higher in men than in women. The researchers realized it could explain "why men were more likely to die from COVID-19 than women," Iziah Sama, doctor from UMC Groningen, one of the co-chairs of the study told Reuters.

Sama and team noted that ACE2 is found in high levels in the testes in addition to the heart, kidneys and tissues lining the blood vessels.

Related topics : Coronavirus