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Adolescent Girls More Likely to Survive Traumatic Injury

Advantage does not extend to pre-adolescent children, suggesting hormonal link

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent girls who experience severe trauma are more than twice as likely to survive as adolescent boys subjected to equivalent trauma, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Adil H. Haider, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data collected for the National Pediatric Trauma Registry between 1994 and 2001. From an overall sample of 46,859 children (67 percent boys; mean age 8.2 years), subset analyses were conducted on those who had experienced severe injury with shock. Patients were divided into pre-pubescent (younger than 12 years) and adolescent (12 to 17 years) groups.

After adjustment for confounders, no difference in survival was observed between sexes in the pre-pubescent group. In the adolescent group, the risk of death after trauma-associated shock was 62 percent less among females than males.

"This sex dimorphism may be explained by emerging research suggesting that female traits, from either sex-linked genes or the presence of sex hormones, are associated with improved survival," the authors conclude.

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