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WVU study finds men are more likely to die from COVID-19 than women

Variations in sex hormones and genetics play an important role.
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 10:45 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A WVU professor says that men are more likely to die from COVID-19 than women.

a teaching assistant professor in the WVU school of medicine who studies sex differences in immune responses says that variations in sex hormones and genetics play an important role. Jennifer Franko says that immunologic differences could make viruses more dangerous for male patients.

“I think what ends up happening is that the stronger initial immune responses allow for clearance of the virus." Franko said, "So, if you have clearance of the virus faster, then that virus isn’t causing damage to your lung cells, and if those lung cells don’t get as damaged, you’re not going to recruit other cells like neutrophils to the site of infection.”

Franko also says that males have a less robust immune response to the virus, resulting in slower viral clearance and poorer outcomes. Franko also says that similar trends were seen during the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 2012 MERS outbreak.

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