Men, in case you have not heard – COVID-19 beats you more problems than it does women. Around the world, men who get the coronavirus more often turn up in the hospital than women, and they are two and a half times more likely to die from it.

Men also discount the need for masks and other emergency measures.

Experts have a lot to learn about men and COVID-19, but the how’s and why’s of its strong influence on men are coming into a more explicit focus as they know more about the virus.

We talked to several health care providers about what can put men at greater risk and what they need to do about that.

Men need to wear a mask, and they need to see a specialist when they get sick or if they are ill and start to feel more critical. For example, if they are released from the ER, they need to come back if their respiratory signs worsen. 

Those who smoke, have diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery illness, and underlying auto-immune difficulties are particularly exposed to complications of COVID-19, such as needing oxygen or hospitalization. Obesity is also a contingency factor.

The apparent mitigation strategies of masks, social distancing, and hand wash are necessary.

We do not completely understand why, but much of it is likely due to variations in hormones and an enzyme called ACE2.

And you know what, there might be a risk that the virus will cause erectile dysfunction. This kind of a side effect from COVID-19 can possibly be very long lasting for men and will eventually result in other issues. Treatment for erectile dysfunction should be seriously taken into consideration by men and should be followed by regular visits to the doctor. 

The hormone estrogen may provide women a protecting edge, but men only have a minimal estrogen level.

Men may also have higher frequencies of ACE2. This enzyme binds with a spike protein in the disease, allowing COVID-19 to get more easily into the lungs. And while we don’t know the numbers, we know that the more critical number of viral particles you’re exposed to, the weaker you are more likely to get.

So, what should men do to defend themselves? Wear a mask, wash your hands all the time, maintain a social distance. But more than that, men should recognize that they model behavior for their family members.

Keep in mind that your children look to you for what to do. Follow public health guidelines and support others to follow your lead. That guards everyone.

Another reason male hormones could be significant: They may trigger various immune system responses than female hormones, which may reveal why men are likelier to have a strict form of the disease than women.

The HITCH study will decide if the path of suppressing male hormones is beneficial to hospitalized men with COVID-19.