Covid death risk in Ireland significantly higher for men than women, research finds



Article By: Paul Cullen Health Editor

Men up to 50% more likely to die once infected, Society of Actuaries in Ireland says



Covid-19 affects men in Ireland more severely than women through a significantly higher risk of death, new research indicates.

Once a person has tested positive for the virus, they are at least 25 per cent more likely to die if they are male, according to the analysis by the Society of Actuaries in Ireland.

In some age groups, men could be up to 50 per cent more likely to die from the disease, the society suggests.

The disparity in the death rate for men and women was most marked in the third phase of the pandemic, from last December on.

“There may be different reasons for this trend – higher incidence of co-morbidities (obesity, heart disease, diabetes) among males, higher rates of smoking and alcohol intake among males, and better immune response systems among females. While reasonable, these are conjecture,” the society says in an accompanying blog.

In the first quarter of this year, Central Statistics Offices figures show there were 1,595 male deaths with Covid from 98,537 cases, a fatality rate of 1.62 per cent. There were 1,370 female deaths from 106,029 cases in the same period, or 1.29 per cent of the total.

“Overall, our analysis shows a gender bias [of survival] of over 20 per cent in favour of females at the highest aggregate level. That bias could, however, be nearly 50 per cent depending on the age profile of cases within reported age bands,” the society says.

Global consistency
The findings are consistent with experience in most other countries where data is available. Across 95 countries, a male/female death ratio of 1.35:1 - or 1.35 male deaths for every female death - has been reported.



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