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J Trauma. 2010 Sep;69(3):537-40. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181efc67b.

Evidence of hormonal basis for improved survival among females with trauma-associated shock: an analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank.

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Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.



Basic science research suggests that sex hormones affect survival after traumatic shock. This study sought to determine the independent effect of gender on mortality among trauma patients in different hormone-related age groups.


Review of severely injured trauma patients with shock included in the National Trauma Databank. Patients were stratified into three groups on the basis of likely hormonal status: prehormonal (age, 0-12 years), hormonal (age,13-64 years), and posthormonal (age, ≥ 65 years). Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the independent effect of gender on mortality in each group, adjusting for anatomic and physiologic injury severity.


A total of 48,394 patients met our inclusion criteria (Injury Severity Score ≥ 16 and systolic blood pressure <90 mm Hg). Crude mortality was higher (p < 0.05) for males in all categories: prehormonal = 29% for males (n = 3,553) versus 24% for females (n = 1,831); hormonal = 34% for males (n = 26,778) versus 30% for females (n = 8,677) and posthormonal = 36% for males (n = 4,280) versus 31% for females (n = 3,275). After adjusting for covariates, women in the hormonally active group had a 14% decreased odds of death (0.86 [95% CI, 0.76-0.93]) compared with men. Females did not exhibit this survival advantage in the prehormonal (odds of death = 0.92 [0.74-1.14]) or posthormonal (odds of death = 0.90 [0.76-1.05]) groups.


Females aged between 13 and 64 years exhibit significantly lower mortality than males after trauma-associated shock. This outcome difference is lost at the extremes of age (preadolescent children and individuals aged ≥ 65 years) where the effects of sex hormones are absent or diminished. These findings suggest that hormonal differences play a role in the gender-based outcome disparities after traumatic shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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