New clues as to why women fare better than men with coronavirus

Daily life under the 'new normal' in London, UK
Daily life under the 'new normal' in London, UK

The immune system of women may induce more appropriate responses to Covid-19, a small study suggests, giving a possible reason why the disease tends to be more severe in men.

Among 98 mostly older adults who were hospitalised with Covid-19, women overall had more 'robust' and 'sustained' attacks on the virus by their immune systems' T cells, researchers reported on Wednesday.

Poor T cell responses in men were linked with worse outcomes, they found.

There were also gender differences in the production of molecules known as chemokines and cytokines that signal immune systems to sites of inflammation.

On average men had higher levels of these molecules, but when women did have high levels they tended to do more poorly.