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How old, what gender and from what part of the country? These are the numbers behind the 606 corona deaths of 2022

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Thanks to the vaccines, the significant death toll from previous waves has decreased, but even today, about twenty people die every day after being infected with the corona virus. In total, 606 corona patients have died since the turn of the year. Among them, significantly more men than women.

At the beginning of the pandemic, more women died, and the numbers seemed to match after that. According to virologist Steven Van Gucht (Sciensano), there is a logical explanation for this tendency. Originally, most deaths occurred in the over-85s. Now the average age is lower. “During the first wave, there were mainly many deaths in residential care centres,” says Van Gucht. “Women have a higher life expectancy, and there are more women in residential care centers. Now only one in five of the deaths is a resident of a residential care center. That weighs much less in the statistics.”

And so there is now an effect that has been visible for some time. “With Covid-19, we see from the outset that men are more susceptible to the disease and to acute complications. They are more at risk of developing a serious form of the disease,” says Van Gucht. How that comes about is not certain. “It is possible that hormonal effects play a role. The immune system in women is usually also a bit sharper.”

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(Read more below the chart)

In addition, men more often suffer from underlying disorders, says epidemiologist Pierre Van Damme (UZA). “Think of obesity, but also chronic lung disease. Smoking behavior has long been very different in men.”

A different attitude towards vaccination may also play a role. Although it is still unclear whether there is a difference between men and women. “It is well known that single men, for example, have a lower vaccination rate than married men,” says Van Damme. “In any case, vaccination is a hugely determinant factor in mortality rates.”

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