Sex and gender: modifiers of health, disease, and medicine

Franck Mauvais-Jarvis, Noel Bairey Merz, Peter J. Barnes, Roberta D. Brinton, Juan Jesus Carrero, Dawn L. DeMeo, Geert J. De Vries, C. Neill Epperson, Ramaswamy Govindan, Sabra L. Klein, Amedeo Lonardo, Pauline M. Maki, Louise D. McCullough, Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Judith G. Regensteiner, Joshua B. Rubin, Kathryn Sandberg, Ayako Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

996 Scopus citations


Clinicians can encounter sex and gender disparities in diagnostic and therapeutic responses. These disparities are noted in epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, disease progression, and response to treatment. This Review discusses the fundamental influences of sex and gender as modifiers of the major causes of death and morbidity. We articulate how the genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal influences of biological sex influence physiology and disease, and how the social constructs of gender affect the behaviour of the community, clinicians, and patients in the health-care system and interact with pathobiology. We aim to guide clinicians and researchers to consider sex and gender in their approach to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases as a necessary and fundamental step towards precision medicine, which will benefit men's and women's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-582
Number of pages18
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number10250
StatePublished - Aug 22 2020


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