Study says young women more prone to H1N1

Authors find no specific reasons for disproportion

The McGill Tribune

Student Society of McGill University Canada

Katrina Sieniuc | Issue date: 10/20/09 | 

Research suggests that young women may be more vulnerable to the H 1N1 virus. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tested and analyzed 168 patients admitted to an intensive-care unit between April 16 and August 12, 2009. The study indicates that severe outbreaks and symptoms of the H1N1 virus are most prevalent among young, healthy adults, with an average age of 32 years. Of the patients studied, roughly 67 per cent were women, and of these, 98 per cent had co-morbidity – the presence of one or more diseases alongside the primary flu – and 30 per cent showed major co-morbidity.

Overall, 17 per cent of the patients died, and of these deaths, 72 per cent were female.

Although the cause of this disproportion is still unclear, medical professionals have several theories. According to Dr. Anand Kumar of the University of Winnipeg, females generally have a lower lung capacity than males. Lower lung capacity, especially when coupled with obesity, is believed to leave women at greater risk of H1N1.

This reading offers some explanation of the other discoveries made during the study, considering that – in addition to hypertension, history of smoking, and diabetes – lung disease was among the most common health problems linked to the infected patients of the study.


Comment from Leslie

Amazing to me that the hormone cycle – as a factor on when a woman gets ill does not come into consideration.


Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.