Gender-related outcomes in trauma

J Trauma. 2002 Sep;53(3):430-4; discussion 434-5. doi: 10.1097/00005373-200209000-00006.


Background: Recent data suggest that sex hormones may play a role in regulating posttraumatic immunosuppression, leading to gender-based differences in outcome after injuries. This study examined gender-related outcomes in trauma patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of trauma registry data from our Level I trauma center over a 4-year period. Patients > 15 years of age, with Injury Severity Scores > 15, who survived and received mechanical ventilation for > 48 hours were included. Patients were divided into two groups on the basis of age (15-45 years and > 45 years) and the groups were further stratified by gender. Groups were matched by Injury Severity Scores, Glasgow Coma Scale score, Abbreviated Injury Score for the head, and transfusion requirement. Gender-based outcomes consisted of ventilator days, intensive care unit length of stay (LOS), hospital LOS, pneumonia, and death.

Results: Data were reported as mean +/- SD. There were 612 patients. In the younger age group, male patients had a higher incidence of multiple organ failure (10.5% vs. 1.5%), longer intensive care unit (13.5 +/- 9.2 days vs. 9.2 +/- 7.2 days) and hospital LOS (30.2 +/- 37.7 days vs. 18.9 +/- 13.0 days), and higher mortality (13.4% vs. 6.8%) compared with female patients (p < 0.05 for all). These differences did not exist in the older age group. The incidence of pneumonia did not differ by gender. Age > 45 years was associated with higher mortality (odds ratio, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-3.5).

Conclusion: Although the incidence of pneumonia was not influenced by gender, female trauma patients had better outcomes than male patients in the younger age group. Outcome in the older age group was not gender-related. Our data support a gender-based difference in outcome after traumatic injuries in younger patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / mortality*
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / pathology
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Organ Failure / complications
  • Multiple Organ Failure / mortality
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Pneumonia / mortality
  • Registries
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Trauma Centers / statistics & numerical data*