Nature reports on a Yale Covid study that found a disparity in severity and death between men and women -- which almost makes cramps worth the discomfort. Autism has typically been said to affect males 4:1 over females. Note the sentence saying that Nature "recognizes that sex and gender are neither binary nor fixed." But it seems COVID has not gotten the message.
Variations in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 could explain why men are more likely to be hospitalized and die of COVID-19 than are women.
Akiko Iwasaki at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues studied the immune responses of 98 men and women infected with SARS-CoV-2. All had mild to moderate symptoms (T. Takahashi et al. Nature http://doi.org/d7gb; 2020). The researchers noticed that male participants’ typical immune response to infection differed from that of female participants, which could explain the more severe disease often observed in men. (Nature recognizes that sex and gender are neither binary nor fixed.)
The team found that in general, men had higher levels of certain inflammation-causing proteins known as cytokines and chemokines circulating in their blood than had women. By contrast, women tended to have a stronger response from immune cells known as T cells than did men. In men, an increase in symptom severity over time was associated with a weak T-cell response; in women, it was associated with increased amounts of inflammatory cytokines.
The study proposes taking sex into account when treating people with COVID-19.