It appears COVID-19 might be more deadly for men than for women. In Italy, for example, 70 percent of virus-related deaths have been men. This is due to a number of factors, like gender disparities among rates of smoking and general health. But in the U.S., officials aren't releasing gender-split data about coronavirus cases and deaths.
Medical ethicist Art Caplan told Boston Public Radio on Wednesday the way the healthcare system is set up has everything to do with the data we get.
"We're not set up to do it," he said. "One of the disadvantages of having a, shall we say, pluralistic healthcare system with each hospital operating like a little island — remember we've talked about this before the pandemic — we don't have great inter-hospital electronic information transfer. So you don't have that, it's hard to get the numbers."
That leaves our records system vulnerable to holes in largely self-reported data from individual hospitals, compared to nationalized systems like England or in Italy, where records are more centralized.
Caplan is the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Chair, and director of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center.