Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a highly contagious disease, which led to a pandemic health emergency. However, age distribution and sex, regarding factors affecting the severity of COVID-19, are controversial. Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the effect of gender difference on the severity of COVID-19 infection in the studied age groups.
Methods: Patients with COVID-19 of Valiasr Hospital (Khorrambid, Fars, Iran) from February 20, 2020, to February 20, 2021, are included in this retrospective study. The inclusion criteria were the age of above 15 years old and being residents of Khorrambid. COVID‐19 severity was classified as mild and moderate/severe according to the WHO standards. The obtained demographical and clinical data from the patient registry forms were analyzed using SPSS-24; P value <0.05 was considered as the level of significance. Chi-square and independent t-test were used to assess the variables.
Results: Herein, 218 patients were recruited with a mean age of 45.6±17.2 and a relatively equal distribution of men and women population. Out of this population, 23.8% had comorbid diseases, 48.2% had mild, and 51.8% had moderate/severe infections. Our results indicated that male gender and the age range of 25-64 years in men are the most important risk factors associated with the disease severity (P<0.0001).
Conclusions: The current study revealed that the leading risk factor of the disease severity was higher age (≥65 years) in the studied women. Meanwhile, in the men group, this factor was the age range of 25-64 years. These results suggest that further research is required to identify the possible impacts of gender and age on various aspects of the ongoing epidemic.