Coronavirus: 72 percent men among dead in Kashmir, says DAK

DAK President Dr Nisar Ul Hassan
DAK President Dr Nisar Ul Hassan

SRINAGAR — Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said the novel coronavirus is killing more men than women in Kashmir Valley.

“More men are dying from COVID-19 than women,” said DAK President and influenza expert, Dr Nisar ul Hassan.

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“Nearly 72 percent of those who died from COVID infection in the Valley were men while women accounted for 28 percent of deaths,” he said.

Dr Nisar said based on his analysis from the data of all 88 deaths in Kashmir Valley as of June 30, 63 (71.60 percent) were men and 25 (28.40 percent) were women.

“70 percent of men who died from the novel virus were above 60 years of age and the average age was 62,” he said.

Dr Nisar said 86 percent of male deaths had preexisting medical conditions with high blood pressure in 18 (28.57 percent) followed by diabetes in 10 (15. 87 percent), chronic lung disease in 8 (12.69 percent), cardiovascular disease in 6 (9.52 percent), cancer in 4 (6.34 percent) and chronic kidney disease in 4 (6.34 percent). Two had brain hemorrhage, one had chronic liver disease and one had hematological condition.

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“9 (14.28 percent) had no underlying health issues and they were apparently healthy,” he added.

Dr Nisar said his data is in line with the global trend. “A similar gender gap in mortality has emerged from countries like Italy, Spain, China, South Korea, France and Germany,” he said.

“The pattern of greater male death rate was also seen in other two coronavirus outbreaks caused by MERS and SARS,” he added.

Dr Nisar said the gender disparity in death could be biological or behavioral. “Women have more robust immune system than men and are able to fend off infection. The female sex hormone appears to play a role in immunity, as does X chromosome which contains immune-related genes. Women carry 2 X chromosomes, men only one,” he said.

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Dr Nisar said men smoke at higher rates than women that damages the lung defense and increases the risk of severe infection. “Males are more likely to have medical conditions that can make COVID-19 infection more fatal in them,” he added.

“Being male is as much a risk factor for COVID as being old. People need to be aware that there is this pattern,” said Dr Nisar.

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