Although COVID-19 affects men and women differently, most current clinical studies on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 do not mention gender or gender. In fact, only a fraction (4%) of such studies explicitly plan to take gender / gender into account when considering the results, a new analysis of 4,420 studies registered with ClinicalTrials.gov concludes.
According to the analysis, 21% of the studies take gender / gender into account when selecting the participants, while 5.4% even plan gender-adjusted or representative subgroups and samples. An article based on the analysis was published in. released Nature communication and was carried out by researchers from Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and Bielefeld University.
Men are more prone to getting severe COVID-19; more men are being hospitalized and more men are dying as a result of the virus. The difference can mean that men and women need different therapies. At the same time, gender is linked to the risk of infection, for example because women are more often employed in positions with customer or customer contact or as caregivers, which increases the risk of exposure. This requires both dimensions to be taken into account when conducting clinical studies and planning public health measures.
The problem is the lack of consideration of gender and gender, says Sabine Oertelt-Prigione from Radboud University and the Medical Faculty of Bielefeld University, one of the co-authors of the article: “We saw from the beginning that the disease is not an identical course for women and men. This is indicated by the differences in hospitalization and death rates. This means that our care, such as medication or other interventions, can also vary depending on whether the patient is a woman or a man. “
The analysis found that 124 studies (2.8%) focused on one gender only, with 100 recruiting only female and 24 only male participants. Studies for women only have mainly focused on the relationship between COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes.
One reason for not including data on gender and gender may be that the studies are carried out under great time pressure. According to Oertelt-Prigione, “researchers sometimes fear that analyzing gender differences in a study could mean more participants and longer recruiting times to achieve their goals. In the early phases of the pandemic in particular, they worked under great time pressure. … We are increasingly seeing that men and women react differently to pharmacological interventions. If you ignore this in studies, it can later lead to serious, undesirable side effects. “
Edited by Gary Cramer