Why Does the Coronavirus Hit Men Harder? A New Clue

Why Does the Coronavirus Hit Men Harder? A New Clue

  • Women produce a more powerful immune response than do men, a new study finds.

The coronavirus may infect anyone, young or old, but older men are up to twice as likely to become severely sick and to die as women of the same age.

Why? The first study to look at immune response by sex has turned up a clue: Men produce a weaker immune response to the virus than do women, the researchers concluded.

The findings, published on Wednesday in Nature, suggest that men, particularly those over age 60, may need to depend more on vaccines to protect against the infection.

“Natural infection is clearly failing” to spark adequate immune responses in men, said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University who led the work.