Contribution of sex-linked biology and gender roles to disparities with trachoma.
Globally, trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness. Survey data consistently show that trachoma-related blindness is two to four times higher in women than men. Tracing the increased risk for trachoma and its consequences for women suggests that other factors besides biology may contribute. Understanding the reasons for the excess risk for and consequences of trachoma in girls and women requires examining a number of issues: Are girls and women more biologically susceptible to the consequences of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis? Could other factors help explain the excess of conjunctival scarring and trichiasis in women? Do gender roles affect the risk for trachoma and its consequences? Are women more likely to have recurrence after trichiasis surgery compared to men? This article explores the answers to these questions.