Objective: This study aimed to investigate how COVID-19 prevention policies influenced the COVID-19 incidence in men and women.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal study using the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health and the Spanish Ministry of Health surveillance data for February 2020–June 2021 to explore sex and age differences in COVID-19 cases and testing. The female-male incidence rate ratios (IRR) were estimated for each week of the pandemic. We complemented our analysis with qualitative information on relevant containment measures in each country.
Results: In Switzerland and in Spain, there was an excess of cases in women of 20–59 years old and 80+. This excess of cases was significant during the waves of the pandemic in both countries. In Switzerland, the biggest difference was observed for the age group 20–29, reaching an excess of 94% of cases compared to men during the first wave of COVID-19 (March–May 2020). The excess of cases in women was greater in Spain than in Switzerland, where it reached 159% for women aged 20–29 during the first wave (March–June 2020). In both countries, the age groups 60–79 had a significant excess of cases in men during the pandemic.
Conclusion: COVID-19 public health policies affect men and women in different ways. Our findings highlight the importance of gender-sensitive responses to address a public health crisis.
Sant Fruchtman Carmen, Fischer Fabienne Beatrice, Monzón Llamas Laura, Tavakkoli Maryam, Cobos Muñoz Daniel, Antillon Marina, Did COVID-19 Policies Have the Same Effect on COVID-19 Incidence Among Women and Men? Evidence From Spain and Switzerland, International Journal of Public Health, Volume 67, 2022