It has been observed that the coronavirus affects both men and women, but not in the same way. According to data from the Ministry of Public Health (Minsanté), “more men are affected than women (sex ratio M/F: 1.8).” Of the 8,726 positive cases confirmed from 4 to 15 July 2020, more than half are men, 5,222 male patients (59.84%) against 3,504 women (40.15%).
The age group 30 to 39 years is the most affected, still mostly men. Minsanté’s statistics also reveal that men die more from Covid-19 than women. Of the 169 deaths in hospitals recorded over the period reviewed, 62.72% are men and 37.27% are women. This situation is not unique to Cameroon, as this trend is also confirmed worldwide.
Explanations for this gender imbalance concerning Covid-19 are still difficult to determine. However, according to specialists, this disparity is explained by biology and lifestyle. According to a study conducted in the Netherlands, the results of which were released in May, men's blood contains higher concentrations of enzymes that help Covid-19 infect cells. This finding may explain why men with heart failure suffer more from coronavirus than women.
Other research has shown that comorbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and respiratory diseases affect men more than women. These pathologies are factors that aggravate the action of the virus. Most coronavirus-related deaths in Cameroon are due to comorbidities, health authorities say. In addition to the biological aspects, “men tend to respect less the hygiene measures enacted in the fight against the coronavirus,” says a doctor. The fact that men smoke more than women would also explain this disparity.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem