Sex differences in immune responses to viral infection

Among the many health disparities characterizing the COVID-19 pandemic, one that’s received particular attention is the difference in outcomes between men and women. As early as February last year, researchers observed that, although men and women were contracting COVID-19 at similar rates, men seemed far more likely to die from the disease. Evidence of the gap has continued to emerge as COVID-19 datasets have expanded. For instance, data aggregated by The Sex, Gender and COVID-19 Project indicate that, although statistics vary substantially among countries around the world, men with the disease are around 20 percent more likely to be hospitalized than women. Once hospitalized, men are more likely to require intensive care, and once there, they’re more likely to die.