Sex-Based Differences in COVID-19 Outcomes

  • Authors
  • Astha Tejpal
  • Catherine Weinberg
  • David Bernstein
  • David Majure
  • Eugenia Gianos
  • Jamie S. Hirsch
  • Jane Cerise
  • Martin Lesser
  • Matthew A. Barish
  • Nina Kohn
  • Rachel-Maria Brown
  • Sanjaya K. Satapathy
  • Stacey Rosen
  • Published
  • J Womens Health

Abstract

Background

Smaller studies suggest lower morbidity and mortality associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in women. Our aim is to assess the impact of female sex on outcomes in a large cohort of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Materials and Methods

This is a retrospective observational cohort study of 10,630 adult patients hospitalized with a confirmed COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction between March 1, 2020 and April 27, 2020, with follow-up conducted through June 4, 2020. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between sex and the primary outcomes, including length of stay, admission to intensive care unit (ICU), need for mechanical ventilation, pressor requirement, and all-cause mortality as well as major adverse events and in-hospital COVID-19 treatments. 

Results

 In the multivariable analysis, women had 27% lower odds of in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] = 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.66-0.81; p < 0.001), 24% lower odds of ICU admission (OR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.69-0.84; p < 0.001), 26% lower odds of mechanical ventilation (OR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.66-0.82; p < 0.001), and 25% lower odds of vasopressor requirement (OR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.67-0.84; p < 0.001). Women had 34% less odds of having acute cardiac injury (OR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.59-0.74; p < 0.001; n = 7,289), 16% less odds of acute kidney injury (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.76-0.92; p < 0.001; n = 9,840), and 27% less odds of venous thromboembolism (OR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.56-0.96; p < 0.02; c-statistic 0.85, n = 9,407). 

Conclusions

 Female sex is associated with lower odds of in-hospital outcomes, major adverse events, and all-cause mortality. There may be protective mechanisms inherent to female sex, which explain differences in COVID-19 outcomes.

  • Keywords
  • COVID-19
  • Gender
  • Hospital outcomes
  • Intensive care
  • mortality
  • Sex