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ATS: Injured Women Receive Less Trauma Care Than Men
Findings point to consistent gender gap regardless of mechanism of injury or income

TUESDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- A significant gender gap exists in trauma care, with injured women significantly less likely to receive care in a trauma center than men, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, held from May 17 to 22 in Philadelphia.

Andrea Hill, Ph.D., from University of Toronto, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from 98,871 adult patients with severe injury (injury severity score greater than 15 or death within 24 hours of hospitalization) who were admitted to an acute care hospital (April 1, 2002, through March 31, 2010).

The researchers found that, of the 33,080 women in the study cohort, 49.6 percent received care in a trauma center, compared to 63.2 percent of males. When examining patients aged 65 or older, 37.5 percent of women received trauma center care compared with 49.6 percent of men. Women with severe injuries remained less likely to be treated in a trauma center than men even after adjusting for the effects of clinical, demographic, and socioeconomic variables (odds ratio, 0.79). Similar results were seen in separate analyses of women with different mechanisms of injury (fall-related injuries and women with motor vehicle-related injuries) as well as with analysis by income level and urban/rural settings.

"Our study provides yet more evidence of important gender differences in access to trauma center care for people with severe injuries," Hill said in a statement. "Future research should focus on the factors underlying these differences and on the effects of these disparities on patient outcomes."

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