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

S.Korea detects second foot-and-mouth case

47 minutes ago

South Korea on Monday reported its second case of foot-and-mouth disease in less than a week, triggering fearful memories of a devastating 2011 outbreak that forced the culling of millions of livestock.

Ebola kills Liberian doctor, 2 Americans infected

1 hour ago

(AP)—One of Liberia's most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying ...

Hepatitis C virus genotype 1 is most prevalent worldwide

1 hour ago

In one of the largest prevalence studies to date, researchers from the U.K. provide national, regional, and global genotype prevalence estimates for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Findings published in Hepatology, a journa ...

1 in 3000 blood donors in England infected with hepatitis E

1 hour ago

The first systematic analysis of hepatitis E virus (HEV) transmission by blood components indicates that about 1 in 3000 donors in England have HEV in their plasma. The findings, published in The Lancet, suggest that around ...

Biologic treatments for RA carry similar infection risk

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The risk of hospitalized bacterial infections in older rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is similar for rituximab or abatacept compared to etanercept, although it is higher for infliximab, ...

New oral drug regimens cure hardest-to-treat hepatitis C

2 hours ago

Two new pill-only antiviral drug regimens could provide shorter, more effective treatment options with fewer side effects for the majority of patients infected with hepatitis C, even those most difficult to treat, according ...

User comments