Sex differences in COVID-19 infections

University essay from Karlstads universitet

Abstract: The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak have shown that there may be sex-dependent differences in morbidity and mortality among individuals contracted with the disease. The aim of the study was to analyse the extent that sex differences appear in COVID-19 infections and to explore whether any differences are due to intrinsic factors in the sexes that cause sex-bias in the disease susceptibility and mortality. The study presents an age and sex-disaggregated analysis of reported cases of total infections, intensive care cases, and deaths across 13 countries due to the disease. The results demonstrated that there is a general trend for the disease prevalence, and it shows a female bias among the proportion of individuals infected with COVID-19. However, males appear to require more intensive care treatment and higher rates of death when compared to females. The results also show that more women than men are reportedly infected by the corona virus up to a certain age. After the age of 60, the proportion of men affected is higher than women, and it is also at this age that the death rate among men increases significantly. In conclusion, the results of this work indicate that males could possibly be at a significantly higher risk of severe disease and death than females, and that the patterns of sex bias in intensive care cases to some extent follows the expected pattern if sex hormones played a role in influencing the immune system response to COVID-19.

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