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A decade of studies has established the importance of the gut microbiome in human health. In spite of sex differences in the physiology, lifespan, and prevalence of many age-associated diseases, sex and age disparities in the gut microbiota have been little studied. Here we show age-related sex differences in the adult gut microbial composition and functionality in two community-based cohorts from Northern China and the Netherlands. Consistently, women harbour a more diverse and stable microbial community across broad age ranges, whereas men exhibit a more variable gut microbiota strongly correlated with age. Reflecting the sex-biased age-gut microbiota interaction patterns, sex differences observed in younger adults are considerably reduced in the elderly population. Our findings highlight the age- and sex-biased differences in the adult gut microbiota across two ethnic population and emphasize the need for considering age and sex in studies of the human gut microbiota.

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