As per a study published in the European Heart Journal, men’s blood has higher levels of a key enzyme used by the new coronavirus to infect cells. This angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is found in the heart, kidneys and other organs. In COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, it is thought to play a role in how the infection progresses into the lungs.
Death and infection tally, across the world, point to men being more likely than women to contract the disease and to suffer severe or critical complications if they do.
“When we found that one of the strongest biomarkers, ACE2, was much higher in men than in women, I realised that this had the potential to explain why men were more likely to die from COVID-19 than women,” said Iziah Sama, a doctor at UMC Groningen who co-led the study.
They said its presence in the testes might partially explain higher ACE2 concentrations in men, and why men are more vulnerable to COVID-19.