Propensity-score analysis reveals that sex is not a prognosis factor for mortality in intensive care unit-admitted patients with septic bacteremia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Manuel Ponce-Alonso
  • Borja M. Fernandez-Felix
  • Ana Halperin
  • Mario Rodıguez-Domınguez
  • Ana M Sanchez-Dıaz
  • Rafael Canton
  • Alfonso Muriel
  • Rosa del Campo

Colleges, School and Institutes


Objective: Men have been considered to have a higher incidence of infectious diseases, with controversy over the possibility that sex could influence on the prognosis of the infection. The aim of the present work was to explore this assumption in patients admitted to the ICU with septic bacteremia.

Methods: Retrospective analysis (2006-2017) in septic patients with microbiologically confirmed bacteremia (n=440). Risk of ICU and in-hospital mortality in males respect to females was compared by a univariate analysis and a propensity score analysis integrating their clinical characteristics.

Results: Sepsis occurred more frequently in males (80.2% vs 76.1%) as well as inhospital (48.0% vs 41.3%) and ICU (39.9% vs 36.5%) mortality. Univariate analyses showed that males had a higher Charlson comorbidity index and a poorer McCabe prognostic score. However, the propensity score in 296 matched patients demonstrated that females had higher risk of both ICU (OR 1.39; 95% CI 0.89 to 2.19) and in-hospital mortality (OR 1.18; 95% CI 0.77 to 1.83), but without statistical significance.

Conclusion: Men with sepsis have worse clinical characteristics when admitted to the ICU, but sex has no influence on mortality. Our data contributes to help reduce the sexdependent gap present in health care provision.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Early online date16 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Sex, ICU, sepsis, mortality, propensity-score

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