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 ."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Risk of post-cesarean infection up for overweight, obese

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

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

11 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

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.