Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

Looking into the sex-specific (and overall) relationship between cardiovascular risk factor exposures, and infectious diseases (ICD10 A and B codes)

Principal Investigator: Professor Mark Woodward
Approved Research ID: 2495
Approval date: June 17th 2020

Lay summary

Most of the burden of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is explained by a composite of physiological and lifestyle factors - chiefly, elevated blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cigarette smoking, poor diet, and physical inactivity. There is increasing evidence that some of these risk factors have stronger effects on CVD in women than men. Although preventive strategies aimed at lowering the burden of these risk factors will benefit all, a sound knowledge of whether there are meaningful sex differences in relationships between traditional chronic disease risk factors and disease outcomes should help promote development of effective, sex-specific interventions. The same issues are also relevant to dementia, which shares some of its major risk factors with CVD. Whether these risk factors act similarly between the sexes is unknown.

Of particular interest, in the current COVID-19 pandemic, is the sex-specific (and overall) relationship between cardiovascular risk factor exposures, including prevalent CVD,  and infectious diseases (ICD10 A and B codes). Current evidence, based on dubious data in many cases, suggests that this may be the case for COVID-19, with imporant sex differences noted by many commentators. Our hypothesis is that this is also the case for infectious disease in general. If so, this will be important evidence in the context of both the current and future infectious disease outbreaks.