Sex differences in immune response explain some differences in health conditions between men and women, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis…these are all autoimmune diseases, where someone’s own immune system attacks the body, and women get them much more often than men, perhaps because their immune response is so robust. Sabra Klein, an expert in sex difference in immunity at Johns Hopkins, says men also experience the impact of sex. 

Klein: Mounting that greater response and maintaining it for a long duration of time can actually cause damage to your tissues, damage that we call immunopathology. This can lead to other diseases. For males while not having as great of a response can lead to things like viruses persisting so they're not being cleared as quickly but it also can mean that that tissue damage is less likely to occur and some of the lingering persistent symptoms of tissue damage are less likely to occur in males.   :34

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.