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Sex disparities in COVID-19 deaths hide high toll on Black women

Around the world, more men than women have died from COVID-19. But focusing on differences between sexes without also looking at race and other variables may obscure important determinants of individual risk, according to a new study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Tamara Rushovich, PhD ’25, and colleagues at Harvard’s GenderSci Lab.

In an analysis of COVID-19 deaths by race and sex in Georgia and Michigan, the researchers found that Black women died at more than three times the rates of white men and Asian men. The only other group more likely to die from the disease was Black men.