Vizag : Data released by Andhra Pradesh government reveals that 69 percent of COVID-19 patients in the state are men.

An analysis of the information provided by the Andhra Pradesh state government revealed that out of 704 patients (whose data is available), 490 patients are men, while 214 are women.

The gender-based analysis also found that most women have contracted the disease because they were the primary contact of COVID-19 positive patients. Women with travel history, who have contracted the disease, were not included in the data.

While doctors think that coronavirus once contracted will affect people irrespective of their gender, some other studies have shown that infection will affect men more than women.

“Women, compared to men, are less susceptible to viral infections based on a different innate immunity, steroid hormones and factors related to sex chromosomes,” the study published on April 7, in the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic agents said.

However, doctors said more research needs to be done for conclusive scientific evidence.

Dr. Phanidhar Polavarapu, General Secretary of Indian Medical Association (A.P State) said there has been no conclusive evidence that SARS-Cov-2 affects men more than women. However, he listed out a few factors that may have resulted in a higher number of men contracting the infection.

“In Andhra’s case, a higher percentage of men being infected could be due to their high co-morbidity rate. Studies have shown that the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases are more in men. If COVID-19 is added to a co-existing disease, the severity is more. If you add smoking, drinking and other lifestyle choices to the equation, the data makes sense,” the doctor said.

P.V Ramesh, Additional Chief Secretary to Andhra Pradesh's chief minister pointed out that the nature of the existing society has a role to play.

“We know that men tend to go out more, while women are more or less home-bound. This makes them less susceptible to the disease since exposure is less. In addition to this, experts have said that people may be infected with COVID-19 but they remain asymptomatic. Unless they are a primary contact and symptomatic, women are less likely to be tested for the novel coronavirus,” he said

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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