Gender and Age Effects on the Rates of Infection and Deaths in Individuals with Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Six European Countries
16 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020More...
Background: Identifying whether the COVID-19 outbreak differentially affects males and females is an important step to understand direct and indirect effects of this health emergency. The aim of this study was to describe the effect of sex on the crude cumulative rate of confirmed SARS-COV-2 infections and deaths for different age categories in six European countries.
Methods: The most recent available numbers of confirmed cases of SARS-COV-2 infected individuals and deaths, stratified by age and sex were retrieved from the government sources of Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and Norway. Information about the age-sex structure of the resident population of each country on January 1 of 2020 were extracted from the respective National Institutes of Statistics.
Findings: The male-to-female ratio of the crude cumulative incidence of cases showed a clear age-dependent pattern in all countries analyzed. We documented a greater rate of confirmed SARS-COV-2 infection among females compared to males between the age of 10 and 50 years. Data from all six countries showed in all age groups from age 20 years and above a higher preliminary fatality rate among males compared to females.
Interpretation: The finding of an increased SARS-COV-2 infection rate among females during childbearing age, and the higher risk of death among males in all age groups claim a possible role of sex- or gender-related factors in the complex pathogenesis of the COVID-19 pandemic
Funding Statement: None.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare no conflict of interest for the topic of this manuscript.
Ethics Approval Statement: The authors stated that the study is exempt from ethics approval since data, documents or records used are all publicly available.
Keywords: COVID19; Gender
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