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Access to stem cell transplantation: do women fare as well as men? Am J Hematol 2003 Feb;72(2):99-102 PMID: 12555212

Pubmed ID



Women have less access to certain types of expensive treatments including renal transplantation, cardiac catheterization and diagnostic studies for lung cancer. Whether women have less access to stem cell transplantation (SCT) is not known. We evaluated allogeneic SCT data from the International Bone Marrow Transplant Registry (IBMTR) and compared them with disease incidence data from the Surveillance and Epidemiologic End Results (SEER) database. We estimated the ratio of males to females among transplanted patients with acute lymphoblastic (ALL), acute myelogenous (AML) and chronic myelogenous (CML) leukemia, diseases for which SCT is often done and compared them to male/female ratios of disease incidence. The association between gender and SCT was estimated as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). There was no association between gender (male vs female) and the rates of SCT for individuals with AML (OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.89-1.02), or CML (OR = 1.0; CI = 0.90-1.1). Among patients with newly diagnosed ALL, more males underwent SCT than females (OR = 1.30, CI = 1.18-1.44). Because children with newly diagnosed ALL usually have a favorable prognosis, SCT is not generally a frontline therapy. Therefore, when we compared SCT rates to a population of children with relapsed ALL, the gender differences disappeared (OR = 1.09, CI = 0.94-1.25). We conclude that for the diagnoses where SCT is commonly used, there is no significant bias towards use in males compared to females. While boys with ALL appear to receive SCT at a higher rate, this difference is likely attributable to biological rather than social reasons.

Author List

Mehta P, Pollock BH, Nugent M, Horowitz M, Wingard JR


Mary M. Horowitz MD, MS Center Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin


2-s2.0-12244268630   10 Citations

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Bone Marrow Transplantation
Data Collection
Health Services Accessibility
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive
Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute
Odds Ratio
Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
Sex Factors
Transplantation, Homologous
jenkins-FCD Prod-321 98992d628744e349846c2f62ac68f241d7e1ea70