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Why men are always more vulnerable to diseases and mental disorders including Covid 19?

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When it comes to males, evolution favors the selection of partners and reproduction in the early years of puberty at the expense of longer-term well-being. This may explain why women live longer and are less prone to disease.

A group of genetic scientists from McMaster University in Canada has found that the human genome has evolved to facilitate the inheritance of very different characteristics in women and men. This makes the latter more vulnerable to a variety of physical and mental illnesses.

The researchers viewed autism as an illustration of a general trend. Boys are more likely to inherit traits that make them more vulnerable to environmental and developmental factors. As a result, they are four times more likely to have some form of autism and have more severe symptoms.

In addition, the analysis showed that although some diseases occur only in women or much more often than in men, representatives of the so-called stronger sex are generally more susceptible to diseases and, as a result, die earlier on average. The main reasons for this are: negative pleiotropic effects of sexual selection and evolution, more mutations, and slower adaptation to environmental conditions.

Weaker immunity also played a role. Women, the researchers say, tend to live longer and are less vulnerable to most diseases because their genome has evolved in response to the harmful characteristics of the male genome. And as a result, she developed better immunity and increased life expectancy.

While human behavior with regard to partner selection has changed, these genetic characteristics remain and continue to be expressed in the health and development of modern men. 

“Our cells have memory, and they carry the accumulation of all the changes that our ancestors experienced over millions of years,” explained Professor Rama Singh, author of the study.

Also, geneticists noted that the origin of mental illness is more complex than physical, although they are influenced by the same evolutionary factors. For example, women are more prone to depression and anxiety, while men are more likely to develop antisocial disorders.

Understanding human health through the prism of genomics can and should guide the search for treatments and prevention, the scientists added. 

“Our findings are a really good example of what geneticists and evolutionary biologists should consider in health research,” concluded Karun Singh, one of the authors of the work.

Details of the work were published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution.

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