Nursing study finds women less at risk than men for health-care-associated infections

A new study from Columbia University School of Nursing supports a growing body of evidence that women are less likely to contract bloodstream or surgical site infections than their male counterparts.

Researchers investigated the incidence of infection in thousands of hospitalized patients and found the odds for women succumbing to a (BSI) and surgical-site infection (SSI) were significantly lower than for . The odds of community-associated BSI were 30% higher in men compared to women, for healthcare-associated BSI, 60% higher in men compared to women, and for SSI, 60% higher in men compared to women.

Results also showed the differences in gender for infection rates were less in young children less than twelve years old and in adults over the age of seventy.

The study, "Gender Differences in Risk of Bloodstream and Surgical Site Infections," was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"By understanding the factors that put patients at risk for infections, clinicians may be able to design targeted prevention and surveillance strategies to improve infection rates and outcomes," says Bevin Cohen, MPH, Program Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Research to Prevent Infections (CIRI) at Columbia University School of Nursing, and the lead author of the study.

All study data were collected retrospectively from electronic sources shared by a tertiary care hospital, a pediatric , and a community hospital within a large, academically affiliated hospital network in New York City.

A possible reason for the gender differences in both BSI and SSI incidence may be the biological differences between men and women's skin. The authors reference several studies that have found that of the skin surrounding a central venous catheter at the insertion site is greater on men than on women.

Says Cohen: "In addition to using enhanced infection risk profiles to improve infection rates, it may be sensible to conduct specialized preoperative skin decontamination procedures and postoperative wound care for men to further reduce the risk of ."

Related Stories

Risk of post-cesarean infection up for overweight, obese

date Sep 26, 2012

(HealthDay)—About 10 percent of U.K. women who undergo cesarean section develop a surgical site infection, with the odds significantly increased for overweight or obese women, according to a study published ...

Recommended for you

Niger battles deadly meningitis epidemic

date 1 hour ago

Parents cradling sick children in their arms streamed into a treatment centre in Niger's capital Niamey, the victims of a meningitis epidemic that has claimed over 100 lives and appears to be accelerating.

Long lasting anti-hemophilia factor safe in kids

date 5 hours ago

Children with hemophilia A require three to four infusions each week to prevent bleeding episodes, chronic pain and joint damage. The effect on quality of life can be significant, due to time and discomfort associated with ...

Missouri detective battles flesh-eating infection

date 10 hours ago

Friends and loved ones of Lee's Summit, Mo., Police Detective Joshua Ward are praying for the 34-year-old married father of three who, even after five surgeries in as many days, remained in critical condition Monday at St. ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.