European Respiratory Society Monograph, Vol. 25. 2003
Present day insights into the relationship between gender and health emphasise the necessity of taking sex and gender differences into consideration. Sex refers to biological characteristics such as chromosomes, physiology and anatomy that distinguish females and males. Gender refers to the array of socially constructed roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours and values that society ascribes to the two sexes on a differential basis. In health-related research both sex differences and differences resulting from gender are implied. Sex can determine differential propensities for certain health conditions or diseases, different risk factors or treatment requirements.
The present issue of the Monograph offers an excellent overview of the present knowledge about sex and gender differences in the different domains of respiratory medicine and aims to contribute to a better "sex and gender perspective" on health and healthcare in clinical practice and research.