Posted by Kimberley Meijers on April 8, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Understanding gender is essential to understanding the risk factors of poor health, early death and health inequities. The COVID-19 outbreak is no different. At this point in the pandemic, we are unable to provide a clear answer to the question of the extent to which sex and gender are influencing the health outcomes of people diagnosed with COVID-19. However, experience and evidence thus far tell us that both sex and gender are important drivers of risk and response to infection and disease.
During previous epidemics of coronaviruses, male sex was associated with worse clinical outcomes due to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Hong Kong, and a higher risk of dying from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In order to understand the role gender is playing in the COVID-19 outbreak, countries urgently need to begin both collecting and publicly reporting sex-disaggregated data. At a minimum, this should include the number of cases and deaths in men and women.
In collaboration with CNN, Global Health 50/50 began compiling publicly available sex-disaggregated data reported by national governments to date and is exploring how gender may be driving the higher proportion of reported deaths in men among confirmed cases so far.
Updated sex-disaggregated data on COVID-19 can be found below via our data tracker, alongside information on associated health risks and comorbidities that may influence the risk of severe COVID-19 infection or death in men and women. Data is only being presented for men and women due to how it is currently being reported by countries.
Click here to access the live data tracker