Edited by Brian P. Pace, MA.
BY LOUIS FAUGERES BISHOP, M.A., M.D.
Curiously enough, while the tendency in modern civilization is to eliminate
the distinctions in the political and economic status of men and women, that
of medicine has been to exaggerate the natural difference of the manifestation
of disease between the sexes.
The object of this essay is not so much to show how many as how few
are the differences. The influence of sex on the course of general disease
is wholly a matter of soil and environment; that is, the disease is the same,
with the same tendencies, and possible terminations, but modified by the constitution
of the person and not by sex. Granted that individual constitution does affect
the course of disease, we must determine whether its characteristics differ
according to sex, or whether they differ among individuals regardless of sex.
To predict our conclusions it will be found that the course of general diseases
is not affected materially by difference of sex, except in a few instances
that are easily defined and pointed out. Apart from variety of occupation
and greater or less exposure there are few factors which alter the percentage
of men and women who acquire infectious diseases. Typhoid, typhus and the
exanthemata affect the sexes equally.
THE INFLUENCE OF SEX ON DISEASE.. JAMA. 1998;280(11):962E. doi:10.1001/jama.280.11.962