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Minerva Medica 2020 Mar 12

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.20.06448-4


language: English

Gender differences in Community-acquired Pneumonia

Elena BARBAGELATA 1, Catia CILLÓNIZ 2, 3, 4, Cristina DOMINEDÒ 5, Antoni TORRES 2, 3, 4, Antonello NICOLINI 6 , Paolo SOLIDORO 7

1 Department of Internal Medicine, General Hospital, Sestri Levante, Genoa, Italy; 2 Department of Pneumology, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 3 August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute, DIBAP S, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 4 Biomedical Research Networking Centers in Respiratory Diseases (Ciberes) Barcelona, Spain; 5 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy; 6 Unit of Respiratory Diseases, General Hospital, Sestri Levante, Genoa, Italy; 7 Unit of Pneumology U, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Department, Molinette Hospital, Città della Salute e della Scienza and University of Turin, Turin, Italy


Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is the most common type of lower respiratory tract infection and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in adults worldwide. Sex and gender play an active role in the incidence and outcomes of major infectious diseases, including CAP. Some studies have reported higher male susceptibility to pulmonary infections and higher risk of death due to sepsis, but others have found the opposite effect. Biological differences (e.g. hormonal cycles and cellular immune- mediated responses) together with cultural, behavioral and socio-economic differences are important determinants of the course and outcome of CAP. Identify gender differences in CAP can guide patient’s prognostication and management. The purpose of this review is to provide the available literature evidences about gender's influence on the clinical course of CAP in order to optimize the assessment, monitoring and treatment of this disease and to reduce its negative outcomes.

KEY WORDS: Community acquired pneumonia; Sex/gender differences; Gender bias; Immune response

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