Sex Differences

The Women’s Global Health Institute (WGHI) at Purdue is interested in learning about, promoting and supporting any COVID-19 research at Purdue that includes research on women’s health and assessment sex differences. There are clear indications from the current statistics that sex plays a role in responses to COVID-19.  For example, more women are testing positive, but more men are dying of the disease (see resources below). 

Understanding factors that contribute to sex differences - ranging from social aspects to different immune responses - is important not only for the development of treatments, but also for estimating the risks that will result in potentially sex-specific recommendations. Our goal is to urge COVID-19 studies at Purdue to consider the question of sex differences, to collect sex-specific results as a resource, and to promote Purdue as a leader in understanding sex-differences in COVID-19.

If you are engaged in COVID-19 research or thinking to do so in the near future, please click here to tell us (~2-3 line description) about your COVID-19 project or your plans/ideas. We will follow up your submission to determine if you would like to highlight your project on the WGHI webpage for others to possibly connect, and where the WGHI could be of help in supporting your research.


Please help us grow the resources below with your contributions. We welcome your scientific comments and resource sharing, which you can sent to us here

Purdue COVID-19 dashboard

The COVID-19 Sex-disaggregated Data Tracker --- by Global Health 50/50

WGHI NEWS --- updated publications and news on COVID-19, sex- and gender-differences, and women's health

Current COVID-19 Data by Sex in Indiana


Current COVID-19 Data by Sex in US and Other Countires: 





Current COVID-19 Data by Sex and Age in US and Other Countries: 

 Covid19-sex-age-DC-April-18.jpg Covid19-sex-age-UT-April-18.jpg

Covid19-sex-age-mortality-GA-by-April-18.jpg Covid19-sex-age-mortality-OH-by-April-18.jpg

Covid19-sex-age-confirmed-Italy-by-April-18.jpg Covid19-sex-age-mortality-Italy-by-April-18.jpg

Covid19-sex-age-mortality-Germany-by-April-18.jpg Covid19-sex-age-mortality-Netherland-by-April-18.jpg


(Updated June 9, 2020)

Data source: 

Scientific Papers:

Gonçalves-Pinho M. et al.: The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Psychiatric Emergency Department Visits - A Descriptive Study. Psychiatr Q. 2020 Aug 25
Nanjundaswamy M. et al.: COVID-19-related anxiety and concerns expressed by pregnant and postpartum women-a survey among obstetricians. Arch Womens Ment Health 2020 Aug 25
Preis H. et al.: Psychometric properties of the Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS) J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol 2020 Aug 24 
Lodi E., et al.: COVID-19: a gendered disease? Possible interpretations and knowledge limitations. G Ital Cardiol, 2020 Aug 21
Molteni E., et al.: SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection in pregnant women: characterization of symptoms and syndromes predictive of disease and severity through real-time, remote participatory epidemiology. medRxiv, 2020 Aug 19
Ahrenfeldt L. et al.: Sex and age differences in COVID-19 mortality in Europe. Res Sq. 2020 Aug 19
Ortolan A. et al.: Does gender influence clinical expression and disease outcomes in COVID-19? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Infect Dis 2020 Aug 12
Penna C. et al.: Sex-Related Differences in COVID-19 Lethality. Br J Pharmacol. 2020 July 22
Nasiri M. et al.: COVID-19 Clinical Characteristics, and Sex-Specific Risk of Mortality: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 Jul 21
Mayers K. et al.: Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientists. Nature 2020 July 15
Papadopoulos V., et al.: Why does COVID-19 kill more elderly men than women? Is there a role for testosterone? Andrology, 2020 July 18
Myers K. et al.: Unequal effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on scientistsNat Hum Behav. 2020 July 15
Blundell R. et al.: COVID-19 and Inequalities. Fisc Stud. 2020 July 14
Selim M. et al.: Is COVID-19 Similar in Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Women? Cureus 2020 June 28
Rodriguez L. et al.: Drinking to cope with the pandemic: The unique associations of COVID-19-related perceived threat and psychological distress to drinking behaviors in American men and women. Addict Behav 2020 Jun 27
Galbadage T. et al.: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Sex-Specific COVID-19 Clinical Outcomes. Front Med (Lausanne) 2020 Jun 23
Bambra C. et al.: The COVID-19 pandemic and health inequalities. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2020 June 13
Giagulli V. et al.: Worse progression of COVID-19 in men: Is testosterone a key factor? Andrology 2020 June 11
Bwire G.: Coronavirus: Why Men are More Vulnerable to Covid-19 Than Women? SN Compr Clin Med 2020 Jun 4
Sierpiński R. et al.: Gender Differences in the Frequency of Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Olfactory or Taste Disorders Among 1,942 Non-Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19. Pol Arch Intern Med. 2020 Jun 3
Krieger N. et al.: Excess Mortality in Men and Women in Massachusetts During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Lancet. 2020 May 27
Gebhard C. et al.: Impact of sex and gender on COVID-19 outcomes in Europe Biol Sex Differ 2020 May 25
Serge R. et al.: Are We Equal in Adversity? Does Covid-19 Affect Women and Men Differently? Maturitas. 2020 May 15
Gemmati D. et al., COVID-19 and Individual Genetic Susceptibility/Receptivity: Role of ACE1/ACE2 Genes, Immunity, Inflammation and Coagulation. Might the Double X-chromosome in Females Be Protective against SARS-CoV-2 Compared to the Single X-Chromosome in Males? Int J Mol Sci. 2020 May 14
Korbel J. & Stegle O., Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on life scientistsGenome Biology. 2020 May 11
Sharma G. et al.: Sex Differences in Mortality from COVID-19 Pandemic: Are Men Vulnerable and Women Protected? JACC Case Rep. 2020 May 4
Cantero M.: Health Statistics and Invisibility by Sex and Gender During the COVID-19 Epidemic. Gac Sanit. 2020 May 4
Jin J. et al., Gender Differences in Patients With COVID-19: Focus on Severity and Mortality. Frontiers 2020 Apr 29
Editorial: The Gendered Dimensions of COVID-19 -- Lancet. 2020 Apr 11
Walter LA & McGregor AJ: Sex- and Gender-specific Observations and Implications for COVID-19West J Emerg Med. 2020 Apr 10 
Cai H: Sex difference and smoking predisposition in patients with COVID-19.  Lancet Respir Med. 2020 Apr; 8(4): e20.
Conti P & Younes A: Coronavirus COV-19/SARS-CoV-2 affects women less than men: clinical response to viral infection.   J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2020 Apr 7;34(2).
Bhopal R: Covid-19 worldwide: we need precise data by age group and sex urgently  BMJ. 2020 Apr 3;369:m1366
Wenham C. et al.: COVID-19: the gendered impacts of the outbreak.  Lancet 2020 Mar 14;395(10227):846-848

News Articles: 

July 28: An Early Look at Applications Submitted During the Pandemic -- NIH
July 16: COVID-19 and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects -- McKinsey & Company 
June 11: All Women Should Be Screened For Anxiety Disorders, Health Group Says -- NPR
May 22: ‘I had to choose being a mother’: With no child care or summer camps, women are being edged out of the workforce --- The Lily
May 20: Are women publishing less during the pandemic? Here’s what the data say --- Nature
May 15: Why Are Women-Led Nations Doing Better With Covid-19? --- The New York Times
May 8: Moms still doing more housework in COVID-19 pandemic -- Ball State University
May 7: Researchers Urged to Add to Knowledge of COVID-19’s Course in Children and Pregnant Women --- ACPR
May 7: Women are maxing out and burning out during COVID-19 -- Lean In
April 26: Researchers should study how Covid-19 affects women -- CNN
April 16: Why coronavirus can make some severely ill and others hardly at all -- abcNews
April 13: Domestic violence cases surge amid stay-at-home orders -- The Hill
April 12: Data on coronavirus deaths by country show more men are dying than women. Male habits and health problems may be partly to blame.  -- Business Insider
April 10: The New Coronavirus Appears To Take A Greater Toll On Men Than On Women  -- NPR
April 9: UN Secretary-General’s policy brief: The impact of COVID-19 on women -- UN Women
April 9: Coronavirus mystery: Disease infects more women but kills more men  ---The Hill
April 8: Women Are Losing More Jobs In Coronavirus Shutdowns -- NPR
April 4: All across the United States, the coronavirus is killing more men than women, data show  -- The Washtington Post
April 3:
Does Covid-19 Hit Women and Men Differently? U.S. Isn’t Keeping Track -- The New York Times
April 2: Why Are So Many More Men Dying from Coronavirus?  -- The New York Times
March: COVID-19: A Gender Lens -- UNFPA
March 26: Men are much more likely to die from coronavirus - but why? -- The Guardian
March 24: Here's why the coronavirus may be killing more men than women. The US should take note -- CNN
Feb 24: Why the Coronavirus Seems to Hit Men Harder Than Women -- The New York Times