COVID-19 and women

A/Professor Sutapa Mukherjee

Professor in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Flinders University

There are gender differences in susceptibility, severity, and outcomes of Covid-19 between men and women. In this talk we will review the epidemiological data available thus far which demonstrate that men are at greater risk of infection, more severe disease and have increased mortality compared to women. We will also explore potential biological mechanisms, including immunological differences to explain why men have higher rates of illness and mortality from Covid-19. In addition we will review the evidence demonstrating the disproportionate impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on women.


Sutapa Mukherjee, MBBS, FRACP, PhD is a respiratory and sleep physician and Associate Professor in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Flinders University. She is Lead in Clinical Research for the Respiratory and Sleep Service, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. She has had a diverse research career in that the initial focus of her research was lung malignancy, with an emphasis on gene therapy. Subsequently she pursued postdoctoral work in occupational epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. She returned to Perth in 2003 and developed the WA Sleep Health Study – a clinical case series of over 5,000 patients with sleep apnoea. She was Clinical Lead of the Ontario Health Study from 2010-2014; a major population-based cohort study of over 230,000 participants. She is President-elect of the Australasian Sleep Association. She was elected to the position of Co-chair of the Guidelines Leadership Group of the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce in April 2020.