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ENZYME MAKES MEN VULNERABLE TO COVID

Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Prelims

Why in news?

Being male is a significant risk factor for COVID-19 regardless of age, according to a new study.

Why are Males at a higher risk?

  • The Study identified higher concentrations of a key enzyme in men’s blood as the reason for the increased risk of death they face compared to women.
  • Men have higher levels of the Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is a protein in the blood.
  • SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, uses ACE2 to enter human cells, according to the study.
  • Sars-CoV2 causes infection by using its crown-like spike protein (which gives the virus its name) to bind to ACE2 on the surface of human cells, from where it invades the air sacs in the lungs, leading to respiratory distress.
  • ACE2 is found not only in lungs, but also the heart, kidneys and tissues lining blood vessels, and there are particularly high levels in the testes.
  • Its regulation in the testes may partially explain higher ACE2 concentrations in men, and why men are more vulnerable to Covid-19, according to the study.
Spike Protein CoV-2 Virus COVID 19

Are Men really at a higher risk?

  • Data from across the world shows that though men and women are equally likely to get infected, severe disease and death is significantly higher in men.
  • Men are 2.4 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than women, found a recent study published
  • In China, where COVID-19 originated, men accounted for close to two-thirds (64%) of deaths as compared to women, who accounted for 36% of all deaths.

-Source: Hindustan Times

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October 2022
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