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Greater availability of neurosurgeons could reduce risk of death from motor vehicle accidents
Date:7/24/2012

riable was the density of neurosurgeons (number of neurosurgeons per million population) in 2006.

In the 3141 US counties that were examined, the mean number of MVA-related deaths per million persons was 226. The average number of neurosurgeons per county was six. The greatest number of neurosurgeons in a county was 372; most counties had none. In an unadjusted analysis, the authors found that an increase of one neurosurgeon per million population was associated with 1.9 fewer deaths due to MVAs per million population.

In a multivariate analysis, in which adjustments were made for county urbanicity, socioeconomic conditions, and density of general practitioners, an increase of one neurosurgeon was associated with 1.01 fewer deaths from MVAs per million population. This association was present regardless of whether the county was rural or urban. When Desai and colleagues compared the association between deaths from MVAs and the distribution of other medical specialties, the researchers found that an equivalent decrease in MVA-related deaths (one fewer death) would require an addition of 33 primary care providers; according to another study, an addition of 6 general surgeons per million population would be needed for the same affect. Rural setting, persistent poverty, and low level of education were all associated with significant increases in MVA-related deaths.

Given the association found between the distribution of neurosurgeons and MVA-related deaths, Desai and colleagues conclude that the availability of local neurosurgeons may be important for the overall likelihood of surviving an MVA, and thus neurosurgical education and practice throughout the US should be promoted.


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Contact: Gillian Shasby
gshasby@thejns.org
434-924-5555
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group
Source:Eurekalert

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