The factors underlying the variable presentation and clinical course of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) remain unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the independent effect of sex on MPN presentation and outcomes. A total of 815 patients with essential thrombocytosis, polycythemia vera, or primary myelofibrosis were evaluated between 2005 and 2019, and the association of sex with presenting phenotype, JAK2 V617F burden, progression, and survival was examined. Men presented more often with primary myelofibrosis vs essential thrombocytosis (relative risk, 3.2; P < .001) and polycythemia vera (relative risk, 2.1; P < .001), had higher rates of transformation to secondary myelofibrosis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.55; P = .013) and acute myeloid leukemia (HR, 3.67; P < .001), and worse survival (HR, 1.63; P = .001) independent of age, phenotype at diagnosis, and MPN-specific mutation. Men had higher JAK2 V617F allele burdens in their CD341 cells (P = .001), acquired more somatic mutations (P = .012) apart from the MPN-specific mutations, and had an increased frequency of 1 (odds ratio, 2.35; P = .017) and 2 (odds ratio, 20.20; P = .011) high-risk mutations independent of age, phenotype, and driver mutation. Male sex is an independent predictor of poor outcomes in MPNs. This seems to be due to an increased risk of non-MPN-specific somatic mutations, particularly high-risk mutations, rather than MPN-specific mutation allele frequency. Conversely, disease progression in female subjects is more dependent on JAK2 mutation allele burden than on acquisition of other somatic mutations. Sex should be considered in prognostic models and when evaluating therapeutic strategies in MPNs.
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