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Hospital Readmission Within 30 Days More Likely in Men

Last Updated: April 19, 2012.

Male gender is associated with increased hospital utilization within 30 days after index discharge, with hospital utilization in the preceding six months a risk factor for both males and females, according to a study published online April 3 in BMJ Open.

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Male gender is associated with increased hospital utilization within 30 days after index discharge, with hospital utilization in the preceding six months a risk factor for both males and females, according to a study published online April 3 in BMJ Open.

Shaula Woz, from the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a secondary data analysis of 737 hospitalized adults from general medical service who were participants in the Project Re-Engineered clinical trial. The association between gender and hospital utilization within 30 days of discharge was assessed.

The researchers found that the rate of events was 29 per 100 people for females, compared with 47 per 100 people for males (incident rate ratio [IRR], 1.62). Risk factors for men included hospital utilization in the preceding six months, being unmarried, screening positive for depression, and no visit to a primary care physician within 30 days (IRR, 3.55, 1.72, 1.53, and 1.64, respectively). The only risk factor for women was hospital utilization in the preceding six months (IRR, 3.08).

"This association may be linked to social behavioral patterns commonly associated with male gender, such as delayed help-seeking behaviors, often resulting in sporadic and episodic use of health services by men," the authors write. "Interventions targeting factors at the root of this phenomenon -- such as social isolation, low rates of primary and preventive health care use, and treatment of depressive symptoms -- may help mitigate this gender effect."

One of the authors disclosed financial ties to Merck & Co.

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