THURSDAY, April 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For certain procedures, surgical site infection (SSI) rates differ by gender, according to a study presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, held from April 13 to 16 in Amsterdam.

Seven Johannes Sam Aghdassi, M.D., from Charité -Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and colleagues examined whether gender is a risk factor for SSI using the database of surgical procedures from the German national nosocomial infection surveillance system. Data were included for 16 procedure types with 1,286,437 individual procedures and 19,792 SSIs.

The researchers found that SSI rates were significantly higher for male patients for orthopedic and abdominal surgery, while for heart and vascular surgery, SSI rates were significantly higher for female patients. SSI rates were significantly higher for female patients in general surgery (hernia repair and thyroid struma surgery). Risk factors differed by sex for hip prosthesis, arthroscopic knee procedures, open colon surgery, coronary bypass surgery, revascularization of arterial occlusion, lumbar disc surgery, thyroid surgery, and hernia repair.

“Our analysis considered a limited number of parameters, which were not sufficient to explain all the observed differences,” Aghdassi said in a statement. “By understanding the different factors that put men and women at risk for infections, we will hopefully be able to develop new prevention and surveillance strategies to improve infection rates and outcomes.”

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