Sex differences in adults with acute myeloid leukemia and the impact of sex on overall survival

Cancer Med. 2023 Mar;12(6):6711-6721. doi: 10.1002/cam4.5461. Epub 2022 Nov 23.


Background: There is a male predominance of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) incidence, but survival data are conflicting. The objective of this study is to carry out a comprehensive analysis of sex differences in AML, and to investigate the impact of sex disparities in survival.

Methods: The cohort included patients ≥18 years diagnosed with AML (2010-2022). Demographics, treatment patterns, treatment adverse events, and survival were analyzed. The population was described and compared by sex, and sex-based risks and associations were obtained via Cox proportional-hazards regression.

Results: In total, 1020 AML patients were analyzed (57.4% males), with lower risk of death for females (aHR = 0.41, 95% CI 0.26-0.66). Among females, BMT (aHR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.27-0.97), hospitalization record (aHR = 0.65, 95%CI 0.45-0.93), and higher appointment completion rates (aHR = 0.98, 95% CI 0.98-0.98) were associated with lower risk of death. Overall, and similarly in males, higher age at diagnosis (aHR = 1.03, 95% CI 1.02-1.04) and a TP53 mutation (aHR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.69-2.97) were associated with higher risk of death.

Conclusion: Sex differences exist in both AML incidence and overall survival. Treatment and health care factors should be addressed by caregivers and public policies developed to reduce mortality rates and mitigate existing sex differences.

Keywords: AML; acute myeloid leukemia; sex differences; survival; treatment; treatment adverse events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / epidemiology
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / therapy
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics*