Why Esr Is Higher In Females?

ESR, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, is a blood test that measures the rate at which red blood cells settle to the bottom of a test tube over a period of time. Elevated ESR levels can be a sign of inflammation or infection in the body. Research has shown that ESR levels are generally higher in females than males. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this gender difference.


One possible explanation for the higher ESR levels in females is hormones. Studies have shown that estrogen, a female sex hormone, can increase ESR levels. Estrogen is known to increase the production of certain proteins in the blood that can cause red blood cells to clump together, leading to a higher ESR rate. This effect is believed to be stronger in premenopausal women, when estrogen levels are higher, than in postmenopausal women or men.

Blood Volume

Another factor that may contribute to higher ESR levels in females is blood volume. Females typically have a lower red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels than males, but a higher total blood volume. This means that the same number of red blood cells in a female’s body will be more spread out, resulting in a higher ESR rate. Additionally, blood viscosity, or thickness, is generally lower in females due to their higher plasma volume, which can also contribute to higher ESR rates.

Inflammatory Diseases

Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, are more common in females than males. These diseases are characterized by inflammation in the body, which can lead to higher ESR levels. While the exact mechanisms behind the gender difference in inflammatory diseases are not fully understood, it is believed that hormones and genetic factors may play a role.

Genetic Factors

Finally, genetic factors may also contribute to the higher ESR levels in females. A study published in the journal Nature Genetics found that a genetic variant on the X chromosome, which is present in females but not males, is associated with higher ESR levels. This variant is located near a gene called IRAK1, which is involved in the immune response and inflammation. While this genetic variant is not present in all females and does not fully explain the gender difference in ESR levels, it may be one factor among many.


In summary, the higher ESR levels in females compared to males may be due to a combination of factors, including hormones, blood volume, inflammatory diseases, and genetic factors. While these factors may contribute to the gender difference, it is important to note that individual ESR levels can vary widely and may be influenced by other factors, such as age and overall health. ESR levels should be interpreted in the context of a person’s overall health and medical history.

Was this article helpful?