Men More Prone to Complications After Brain, Spine
FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Men are twice as likely as
women to have complications after brain or spinal surgery, and also
spend more time in the hospital after the operation, a new study
The findings suggest that a patient's gender, along with other
factors, should be taken into account to provide the best possible
estimates of risk for patients scheduled for neurosurgery, the
University of Michigan Medical School researchers said.
The researchers analyzed data on more than 900 people who had
brain or spinal surgery between 2006 and 2009. The overall
complication rates within 30 days after surgery were 18.6 percent
for brain surgery patients and 10.8 percent for spinal surgery
The complication rate for men was 20.3 percent, compared to 11.3
percent for women. The rate for men remained twice that of women
even after the researchers adjusted for other factors such as age,
tobacco and alcohol use, and health problems such as high blood
pressure, coronary artery disease and diabetes.
Complications also were more common in older patients and in
those with coronary artery disease.
Men spent an average of 7.5 days in the hospital, compared with
5.7 days for women. But gender did not affect the average length of
stay in the intensive care unit after surgery.
Multiple factors likely contribute to the different complication
rates in men and women, including "psychosocial, hormonal or
underlying disease differences," the researchers said.
For example, the lower complication rate in women could be due
to better social support, "neuroprotective" effects of estrogen or
lower rates of cardiovascular disease.
The study appears in the April issue of the journal
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