Sex Differences in Susceptibility, Severity, and Outcomes of COVID-19

Jan. 22, 2021

While data from China and Europe shows poor COVID-19 outcomes among males compared to females, studies evaluating U.S. populations have been lacking. A new study involving Director, Center of Outcomes Research, Bita Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE, Co-director of the Center for Outcomes Research Khurram Nasir, MD, MPH and Associate Director Farhaan Vahidy, PhD, MBBS, MPH, FAHA at Houston Methodist and published in PLOS ONE January 15, 2021, showed that males are more likely than females to test positive for COVID-19, to have complications and to require ICU admission and mechanical ventilation. Males also have higher mortality than females.

This new study reinforces gender disparities in COVID-19 vulnerability. It will be important to further examine sex-disaggregated data to improve understanding of the biological processes involved in COVID-19 and to potentially tailor treatment and better stratify patients by risk.

The study included 96,473 patients tested via PCR for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, of which 14,992 (15.6 percent) tested positive. Data was analyzed from an IRB-approved registry at Houston Methodist located in Houston, TX, which was an epicenter during the June-August 2020 surge of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

More information on the study, methodology and discussion of the results can be found here.


Research COVID-19