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Hospital Type Linked to Racial Disparities in Kids With Appendicitis Complication
Date:1/4/2013

ted at children's hospitals, the Hispanic children were 18 percent more likely to experience this complication than white children.

The racial disparity was not found at county hospitals. The study authors noted, however, that black patients treated at children's and county hospitals had a higher risk for a perforated appendix than other black children treated at community hospitals.

"The goal is to figure out why these racial disparities exist and what interventions could be put in place to help eliminate them," Shew said in the news release. He added that more research is needed on this topic, including if language barriers prevent access to care or affect patients' understanding of their symptoms.

"We don't know what explains these findings; however we suspect that there are some other barriers in play," Shew said. "As investigators it behooves us to look further into prehospital factors that may contribute to this racial disparity and ultimately find what interventions can be implemented to provide much quicker access to care, so children can get treated more effectively."

An estimated 80,000 children in the United States develop appendicitis each year. The condition is the most common reason for emergency abdominal surgery in children, according to background information in the news release.

The study was published in the January issue of the Journal of American College of Surgeons.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about health disparities.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: American College of Surgeons, news release, Dec. 28, 2012


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