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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2017 Dec 13

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.12187-5


language: English

Gender differences in septic intensive care unit patients

Francesco CAMPANELLI 1, Giovanni LANDONI 1, 2 , Luca CABRINI 1, Alberto ZANGRILLO 1, 2

1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; 2 Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy


BACKGROUND: The world population is mostly male at birth, although there is a shift in predominance over 55 years of age with more females than males. Male gender was recently hypothesized to be a risk factor for sepsis and septic shock; the reasons and the consequences of this odd discrepancy are yet a matter of debate. We investigated the percentage of males and females in a large number of trials performed on septic adult patients admitted to Intensive Care Units.
METHODS: We analysed all the multicentre randomized controlled trials ever published in peer-reviewed Journals reporting a significant effect on mortality in intensive care unit septic adult patients; furthermore, we retrieved all the manuscripts dealing with sepsis or septic shock patients published in the last 3 years in the three medical Journals with the highest impact factor.
RESULTS: We analysed data from 12 multicentre randomized controlled trials (for a total of 5080 patients, 61% males) and from further 22 trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and the Journal of the American Medical Association (for a total of 493,066 patients, 54% males). Data on gender ratio in survivors were not available.
CONCLUSION: Data from 34 large studies on 498,146 septic adult patients clearly showed a prevalence of males despite the expected female predominance. Further studies are required to explain the reasons, to evaluate if a difference is present in survival rate, and to identify gender-tailored preventive measures and treatments.

KEY WORDS: Sepsis - Septic shock - Gender - Critical care - Intensive care unit

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Publication History

Article first published online: December 13, 2017
Manuscript accepted: November 30, 2017
Manuscript revised: October 23, 2017
Manuscript received: May 18, 2017

Cite this article as

Campanelli F, Landoni G, Cabrini L, Zangrillo A. Gender differences in septic intensive care unit patients. Minerva Anestesiol 2017 Dec 13. DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.12187-5

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