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Sex Differences in the BrainFrom Genes to Behavior$
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Jill B. Becker, Karen J. Berkley, Nori Geary, Elizabeth Hampson, James P. Herman, and Elizabeth Young

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195311587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.001.0001

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Sex Differences in Infectious and Autoimmune Diseases

Sex Differences in Infectious and Autoimmune Diseases

Chapter:
(p.328) (p.329) Chapter 17 Sex Differences in Infectious and Autoimmune Diseases
Source:
Sex Differences in the Brain
Author(s):

Sabra L. Klein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195311587.003.0017

This chapter begins with a discussion of sex differences in death rates and disease susceptibility. It then discusses sex differences in infectious diseases, covering susceptibility to viruses, bacteria, and parasites. This is followed by discussion of sex differences in autoimmune diseases, immunological differences between the sexes, sex steroid-immune interactions, and the influence of genetic factors on sex differences in disease susceptibility. The sexes differ in their responses to infectious and autoimmune diseases. The intensity and prevalence of infectious diseases typically are higher in males than females; conversely, the prevalence and severity of autoimmune diseases are greater in females than males. Endocrine-immune interactions play a fundamental role mediating responses to diseases. Because sex steroid concentrations differ dramatically between the sexes, to date, most studies have focused on characterizing the role of sex steroids as mediators of sex differences in immune function.

Keywords:   sex differences, infectious disease, disease susceptibility, autoimmune diseases, immune function

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