Men had a higher risk than women of death at 30 days (7 percent vs. 4.5 percent), 90 days (11.4 percent vs. 8.6 percent) and one year (21 percent vs. 16 percent). "Even compared to women with an equivalent illness severity, men were more likely to die," Dr. Yende noted. "Survival differences persist up to one year after the initial hospitalization, when most patients had recovered from the pneumonia and left the hospital."
"To our knowledge, this is the largest study comparing biological response to infection between men and women. Our results suggest that immune response to infection may be an important target for interventions to reduce sex disparities in the outcomes of infections," said senior author Derek C. Angus, M.D., professor and chair in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study.
"More studies will be needed to determine why the biological response differs between men and women," said Dr. Yende. "A clearer understanding may be useful toward designing interventions specifically targeted to men or women."
The GenIMS researchers hope to identify whether certain changes in the genes for key inflammatory molecules are associated with the risk of developing pneumonia, and the risk of progression to severe sepsis, septic shock, organ dysfunction or death. Because pneumonia is the most common cause of sepsis, patients with this infection represent an excellent clinical model for studying sepsis in a relatively homogeneous population.
In a paper published online on April 3 in The FASEB Journal, GenIMS researchers led by Drs. Yende and Angus found that people with certain gene variations associated with higher levels of macrophage migration inhibitory factor, an innate immune response regulator, were less likely to die following CAP.
"Macrophage migration inhibitory factor is a molecule
|Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz|
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences