Published: 2020-06-23

Disparities among pediatric hospital admissions according to gender

Asim Hassan Mehdi, Kinza Riaz, Nimra Ghazal, Nighat Seema Kamran, Erum Saboohi, Abdul Hadi Hassan Malick, Anas Bin Tariq


Background: The objective of the study was to determine the pattern of disparities among paediatric hospital admissions according to gender.

Methods: This retrospective observational study was done at pediatric ward of Al-Tibri Medical College and Hospital Karachi from June 2018 to May 2019. Pediatric patients below 12 years of age admitted to the pediatric ward of the hospital were included while patients who were admitted for less than 24 hours, refused for consent by parent/guardian, surgical or ICU pediatric patients were excluded. SPSS was used for data analysis. Quantitative data included age, gender, diagnosis and seasonal variation, expressed as frequency in percentages and chi-square test was applied to test for significance.  

Results: Among 734 pediatric hospital admissions, 423 (58%) were males and 311 (42%) females. Highest percentages of pediatric admission in both genders were infants after which second most patients were from the 1-4 years group in both genders (p=0.01). 215 patients of acute gastroenteritis were male while 142 females. Among patients admitted with respiratory disease, 56 were males while 48 were females. 52 male patients were admitted with viral fever while 34 patients admitted were females (p=0.01).

Conclusions: Our study reported a significant difference among gender variances in pediatric hospital admissions. Overall, not only males were predominant in admission to pediatric wards, they were also found to be predominant in disease categorization. Further studies set to determine the reasons behind such gender differences would help in determining plans accordingly to improve outcome of diseases.


Gender disparity, Pediatric admissions, Male to female pre-dominance

Full Text:



Khera R, Jain S, Lodha R, Ramakrishnan S. Gender bias in child care and child health: global patterns. Archives of disease in childhood. BMJ. 2014;99(4):369-74.

Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Scope of Gender Bias in Health Sector: Insights for Policymakers. MAMC J Med Sci. 2017;3(2):109-11.

Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Eliminating discrimination in the health sector to attain universal health coverage. Acta Medica Int. 2018;5(2):95-6.

Chukwu BF, Chinawa JM, Ikefuna AN, Emodi IJ. Pattern and outcome of paediatric medical admissions at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu: A five years retrospective review (2007-2011). Nigerian J Paediatr. 2013;40(4):354-9.

Leiter V, Rieker PP. Mind the gap: gender differences in child special health care needs. Maternal Child Health J. 2012;16(5):1072-80.

Lozano R, Naghavi M, Foreman K, Lim S, Shibuya K, Aboyans V, et al. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet. 2012;380(9859):2095-128.

Kroll GC, Berger P, Lepperdinger G, Loebenstein GB. How sex and age affect immune responses, susceptibility to infections, and response to vaccination. Aging Cell. 2015;14(3):309-21.

Fish EN. The X-files in immunity: sex-based differences predispose immune responses. Nature Rev Immunol. 2008;8(9):737-44.

Silveira GF, Franch AF. Sex Bias in Infectious Disease Epidemiology: Patterns and Processes. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(4)1-13.

Bupp MR. Sex, the aging immune system, and chronic disease. Cellular immunology. 2015;294(2):102-10.

Ngo ST, Steyn FJ, Combe MPA. Gender differences in autoimmune disease. Frontiers Neuroendocrinol. 2014;35(3):347-69.

Stone ML, Par LDJ, Kane BJ, Rasmussen SK, Gahren MED, Rodgers BM. The effect of race and gender on pediatric surgical outcomes within the United States. J Pediatr Surg. 2013;48(8):1650-6.

Clayton JA, Tannenbaum C. Reporting sex, gender, or both in clinical research. JAMA. 2016;316(18):1863-4.

Garenne M. Demographic evidence of sex differences in vulnerability to infectious diseases. J Infectious Diseases. 2014;211(2):331-2.

Aryal S, Guzman DE, Mannino DM. COPD and gender differences: an update. Translational Res. 2013;162(4):208-18.

Lunzen VJ, Altfeld M. Sex differences in infectious diseases common but neglected. J Infect Dis. 2014;209(3):79-80.

Cho J, Davis HD, Miles MS. Effects of gender on the health and development of medically at‐risk infants. J Obstetr Gynecologic Neonatal Nursing. 2010;39(5):536-49.

Wakim HRH, Ghanem ST, Helou EMW, Khafaja SA, Shaker RA, Hassan SA, et al. Epidemiology and characteristics of urinary tract infections in children and adolescents. Frontiers Cellular Infection Microbiol. 2015;5:45-53.

Lun KEH, Nelson AS. Gender disparity in paediatric hospital admissions. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2006;35:882-9.