COVID-19 is more deadly for men than for women

Press release Published on 21 March 2022

Authors: Gilles Pison and France Meslé

In France, at all ages, males have a greater risk of dying in the year than females of the same age. COVID-19 is also more deadly for men than for women, but how much more so? After describing male excess COVID-19 mortality in France, Gilles Pison and France Meslé compare recorded levels with those generally observed for deaths from all causes.

From around age 50, male excess mortality from COVID-19 is higher than that observed for all-cause mortality. This difference may reflect a higher infection risk for men due to their behaviour and activities, but also a higher prevalence of comorbidities liable to increase case fatality rates (risk of dying of the disease once infected). Male excess mortality from COVID-19 has evolved since the start of the pandemic, with a downward trend at ages 65– 74 especially in the second half of 2021, perhaps thanks to vaccination.  At these ages, a higher percentage of men than women have been vaccinated. This is surprising, given that men are generally found to pay less attention to their health than women.

Published on: 23/03/2022