MEN ARE around 1.7 times more likely than women to die from covid-19, according to a recent paper by researchers at Yale University, published in Science. Men older than 30 have a significantly greater mortality risk. That is striking, but perhaps should not come as a surprise. Human lifespans have climbed steadily in recent decades, but wide disparities remain between women and men (see chart). Globally women live nearly five years longer than men, up from three years in 1950. The reasons for that gap are both biological and environmental, and help to explain why more men are dying from covid-19.