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Crit Care Res Pract. 2010;2010:404608. doi: 10.1155/2010/404608. Epub 2010 Oct 20.

Does gender impact intensity of care provided to older medical intensive care unit patients?

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Pulmonary & Critical Care Section, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street P.O. Box 208057, New Haven, CT 06520-8057, USA.



Women receive less aggressive critical care than men based on prior studies. No documented studies evaluate whether men and women are treated equally in the medical intensive care unit (MICU). The Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System-28 (TISS-28) has been used to examine gender differences in mixed ICU studies. However, it has not been used to evaluate equivalence of care in older MICU patients. We hypothesize that given nonsignificant, baseline health differences between genders at MICU admission, the level of care provided would be equivalent.


Prospective cohort of 309 patients ≥60 years old in the MICU of an urban university teaching hospital. Explanatory variables were demographic data and baseline measures. Primary outcomes were TISS-28 scores and MICU interventions. We compare TISS-28 scores by gender using a statistical test of equivalence.


Women were older and had more chronic respiratory failure at MICU admission. Using equivalence limits of ±15% on gender-based scores of TISS-28, MICU interventions were equivalent. Supplementary analysis showed no statistically significant association between gender and mortality.


In contrast with other reports from the cardiac critical care literature, as measured by the TISS-28, gender-based care delivered to older MICU patients in this cohort was equivalent.

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