MONDAY, May 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A new Canadian study has uncovered an apparent gender bias in the hospital setting, with women less likely than men to get trauma center care following a severe injury.
"Gender-based disparities in access to health care services in general have been recognized for some time, and evidence is emerging that these disparities extend to the treatment of severe injuries in trauma centers," study author Andrea Hill, a postdoctoral fellow at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, said in a news release.
"Our study," she added, "confirms and expands on these earlier findings by evaluating the relationship between gender and trauma center care in a large cohort of patients from across Canada."
Hill and her colleagues are scheduled to present their findings Monday at the American Thoracic Society annual meeting in Philadelphia. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The team's findings stem from an analysis involving nearly 99,000 adult patients throughout Canada. About a third were women, and all had sought hospital treatment following a severe injury.
Across all age groups, just less than half of the women received trauma center care, compared to more than 63 percent of men in the same situation.
Among patients aged 65 and older, roughly 38 percent of the women got trauma care, compared with nearly 50 percent of the men.
The trauma gap held even after accounting for a wide array of demographic and socioeconomic factors, the study authors said. A gap also was observed when looking solely at injuries involving either falls or motor vehicle accidents.
"Our study provides yet more evidence of important gender differences in access to trauma center care for people with severe injuries," Hill said. "Future research should focus on the factors underlying these differences and on the effects of these disparities on patient outcomes."
For more on traumatic injuries, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.