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Paucity and Disparity of Publicly Available Sex-Disaggregated Data for the COVID-19 Epidemic Hamper Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Kocher, K., Delot-Vilain, A., Spencer, D., LoTempio, J., Délot, E. C.

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Peer Review Study

Data Collection and Analysis
Healthcare Access and Quality
Tools Included
Outside U.S.

Data Collection and Reporting

This systematic analysis of official websites for 20 countries and 6 U.S. states revealed a wide disparity in sex-disaggregated data made available to the public and scholars. There were few cases reported by sex. None of the other characteristics were stratified by sex. The study also found a paucity of usable raw data sets and a generalized lack of standardization of captured data, making comparisons difficult. A second round of data found more complete information. The analysis revealed a wide range of sex ratios among confirmed cases. In countries where a male bias was initially reported, the proportion of women dramatically increased in 3 weeks. Accurate, peer-reviewed analysis of harmonized, sex-disaggregated data for characteristics of epidemics, such as availability of testing, suspected source of infection, or comorbidities, will be critical to understand where the observed disparities come from and to generate evidence-based recommendations for decision-making by governments.

Resource Details

Outcomes of Interest

Improve Data Infrastructure

Priority Population(s)

Setting(s) of Implementation

Geographic Area of Implementation

Implementation Period