Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Italian Patients: Gender Differences in Presentation and Severity
Martina Baiardo Redaelli1, Giovanni Landoni2, Davide Di Napoli3, Federica Morselli1, Marianna Sartorelli1, Chiara Sartini1, Annalisa Ruggeri4, Andrea Salonia5, Lorenzo Dagna6, Alberto Zangrillo2
1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy
2 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital; Faculty of Medicine, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
3 Department of Health Directorate, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy
4 Department of Hematology and Stem Cell Transplantation, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
5 Faculty of Medicine, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University; Division of Experimental Oncology/Unit of Urology, URI, IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
6 Faculty of Medicine, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University; Unit of Immunology, Rheumatology, Allergy and Rare Diseases, Milan, Italy
Dr. Martina Baiardo Redaelli
Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132 Milan
Background: In the first wave of the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infections, Italy experienced a heavy burden of hospital admissions for acute respiratory distress syndromes associated with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Early evidence suggested that females are less affected than males.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the gender-related differences in presentation and severity among COVID-19 patients admitted to IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy.
Materials and Methods: This prospective observational study included all patients admitted to the hospital between February 25 and April 19, 2020, with a positive real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for COVID-19. The following data were collected: date of admission, gender, age and details of intensive care unit admission and outcomes.
Results: A total of 901 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to the hospital and provided consent for the study. Of these, 284 were female (31.5%). The percentage of admitted female patients significantly increased over time (25.9% of all admissions in the first half of the study period vs. 37.1% in the second half; P < 0.001). Females accounted for 14.4% of all COVID-19 intensive care unit admissions. There was no gender-based difference in the overall hospital mortality: 20.1% for females and 19.2% for males (P = 0.8).
Conclusions: In our hospital, which was in the epicenter of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Italy, female patients were few, presented late and were less critical than male patients.