Investigating differences in gender mortality for children admitted to UK critical care units

Short title:

Gender and Mortality Study

Chief Investigator:

Mrs Ofran Almossawi


Dr Katie Harron (Data Controller, and PhD Supervisor)


UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health


National Institute of Health Research.

Lay Summary:

Every year more than 20,000 children are admitted to PICUs in the UK. Previous small studies have showed that baby girls may have higher mortality rates than baby boys in PICU. In 2017 we completed an analysis of all babies (0-12 months old) who were admitted to PICUs over an 11-year period. We obtained anonymous records for 68,000 babies and compared the rates of death between girls and boys during their admission to PICU. We discovered that girls had higher death rates than boys. This is different to what is seen in the general population where boys have higher death rates than girls for children of all ages. We carefully examined whether this difference could be due to differences in age, disease severity, infections, and a number of other factors. None of the factors could explain why girls died more than boys in PICU. We now want to examine these findings in greater detail as this could have implications for the care of critically ill children generally.

Associated Publications: