In the COVID-19 pandemic, we have emphasised the importance for epidemiological data to be presented by age and sex groups. This call has also been made by the European Association of Science Editors and The Lancet.
Without these data, the public are unable to make truly informed choices about their own disease risk, and public policy responses cannot be specifically targeted.
The prevailing view is that although the number of male cases is not dissimilar to the number of female cases, men have about twice the risk of death from COVID-19, leading to a range of hypotheses, from lifestyles to differences in chromosomal structure.Although graphs describing disaggregated national statistical data can be found on the Global Health 50/50 website, the underlying data are not shown and, to the best of our knowledge, have not been described in the literature.


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Cite as

Bhopal, S. & Bhopal, R. 2020, 'Sex differential in COVID-19 mortality varies markedly by age', The Lancet, 396(10250), pp. 532-533. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31748-7

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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