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Women win out in gastrointestinal surgery
Date:6/30/2011

In the first study to consider the impact of gender on patient outcomes in major gastrointestinal surgeries, researchers at UC San Diego Health System have found that women are more likely to survive after the procedure than men. The pattern is even more pronounced when comparing women before menopause with men of the same age.

Results, now published online in the Journal of Surgical Research in a paper titled "The Battle of the Sexes: Women Win Out in Gastrointestinal Surgery," shed light on major differences between patients which impact treatment success, and open pathways to creating new therapies aimed at improving survivability of surgical patients.

"Science is just now understanding that one size does not necessarily fit all, as each individual person may respond differently to disease and treatment. However, medical outcomes could be optimized by tailoring therapies based upon each individual's unique genetic make-up as well as other characteristics. Gender is among the most important traits," said Carrie Y. Peterson, MD, a surgical resident physician at UC San Diego Health System who is combining her clinical residency with scientific research training, and first author of the paper.

Peterson and colleagues performed a retrospective review of the National Institute of Health database from 1997 to 2007 and identified a total of 307,124 patients with gastrointestinal surgeries. Over 50 percent of them were women, who, according to the study, are 21.1 percent less likely to die after major stomach or intestinal surgery than men. In particular, female patients had lower mortality in gastric, small intestine, large intestine, hepatic, and pancreatic surgeries.

To control for the effect of menopause, researchers analyzed the rates of in-hospital deaths for patients over the age of 50 and those patients who were between 18 and 40 years old. Women between 18 and 40 were 33 percent less likely to die than men of a simi
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Contact: Maja Gawronska
jcarr@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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