THURSDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Gender-specific hormones
may explain why premenopausal women are more likely than men to
survive severe physical injuries, say U.S. researchers.
Their analysis of national data from more than 48,000 patients
who suffered severe trauma showed that women are 14 percent more
likely to survive than similarly injured men. This difference may
be due to the negative impact of male sex hormones on a stressed
The effect was limited to patients aged 13 to 64. Sex hormones
haven't developed in younger patients and their activity is
significantly reduced in older patients, explained the Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers.
The study was published in the September issue of
The Journal of Trauma.
Both women and men have estrogens (female sex hormones) and
androgens (male sex hormones, including testosterone), but they
have them in different ratios that change over time. After a person
suffers a serious injury, sex hormones appear to have specialized
roles in regulating metabolic, cardiovascular and immune reactions,
the researchers said.
These findings may lead to new ways to improve survival among
male trauma patients, such as giving them androgen-blocking
"Female sex hormones appear to give women better resiliency to extreme injury, while male sex hormones seem to worsen their survival after trauma," study leader Dr. Adil H. Haider, an assistant professor of surgery, said in a Hopkins news release. "And if we can find a way to manipulate those hormones in men, for example by temporarily blocking sex hormones, we may be able to improve their survival."
The American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation offers
injury prevention tips.