Surgical site infection rates differ by gender for certain procedures


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study has identified gender-related differences in the risk for surgical site infection (SSI) after specific procedures.

The research, which was presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases in Amsterdam, Netherlands suggests there may be underlying biological differences in the way men and women respond to certain procedures.

The study used national data on surgical procedures and nosocomial infection in Germany between 2008 and 2017. Results were adjusted for known SSI risk factors including age, pre-operative physical state, wound contamination class, duration of surgery and season.

Sixteen procedure types were identified, with 1,286,437 individual procedures and 19,792 SSIs.

Data analysis revealed that male patients undergoing orthopaedic and abdominal surgery were significantly more likely to develop SSI than female patients. In contrast, SSI rates were substantially higher in women following heart and vascular surgery and after general surgery (hernia repair and thyroid surgery).

However, within the surgical groups, individual procedures revealed mixed results. For instance, men were twice as likely to develop SSI following arthroscopic procedures, whereas the odds of SSI in patients undergoing hip replacement because of fracture did not differ significantly.