Female fatality due to cholera was higher than male. Studies of four cholera epidemics in the Poznań Province in the second half of the 19th century

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-288643/v2


Males and females differ in terms of patterns of morbidity and mortality resulting from diseases. It has been tested whether cholera epidemics killed selectively by sex in historical populations. Four cholera epidemics in the Poznań Province: 1852, 1855, 1866, and 1873 have been studied. Data have been derived from death registers of the selected parishes located on the territory of the Poznań Province. In total, the information about 34, 655 individual cases, with the causes of deaths recognized, has been used, encompassing 18,243 males and 16,325 females. More females than males died in the periods of cholera epidemics than in non- epidemic ones. The values of sex ratio at death from cholera (SRDCh) during the earlier epidemics (1852, 1855) and later epidemics (1866, 1873) were 0.91 and 0.97, respectively. A significant variances in the sex ratio at death (SRD) have been observed between the cholera epidemics periods (SRD=0.89) and non-epidemic periods (SRD=1.13) in Poznań. The gender-specific cholera death rates could have been related to the division of social roles between women and men. Women more frequently than men had contact with contaminated water, e.g. when preparing and cooking meals, feeding, caring for and washing children and caring for sick family members.

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