Clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated higher mortality following nonthermal trauma among males compared with females. To date, few clinical retrospective studies have focused on gender differences in outcome following burn injury with respect to age. All patients admitted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Burn Center between January 1994 and December 2000 were selected for inclusion in the study. Gender differences in demographic, clinical, and outcome characteristics were compared. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (Cls) were calculated for the association between mortality and gender, both overall and stratified by age. Over the 7-year study period, 1229 males and 382 females were admitted to the UAB Burn Center, and mortality rates were 7.2% and 13.4%, respectively (P = 0.0002). Female patients were more likely to be older, of the black race, and in poorer health. In addition, females were more likely to suffer flame and scald burns. The association between mortality and gender was modified by age. Up to age 60, mortality rates among females were over twice that of males (OR 2.3, 95% Cl 1.4-3.8); however, no difference was noted among those 60 and older (OR 0.9, 95% Cl 0.5-1.6). These associations persisted following adjustment for potentially confounding variables. Causes and timing of death were similar for males and females. Women less than 60 years of age who sustain burn injuries have an increased risk of death compared with males. Differences in the natural history of nonthermal trauma and burn injury may provide insight regarding these divergent findings.