Navigation Links
Seniors in Poor Areas More Likely to Die After Surgery

Study raises questions about disparities in outcomes, but offers no concrete answers

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly Americans who live in low-income ZIP codes are more likely to die after surgery than those who live in higher-income ZIP codes, according to new research.

The study analyzed death rates among more than one million older adults who had one of six common high-risk heart or cancer surgeries between 1999 and 2003.

The risk of death was between 17 percent and 39 percent higher for patients in low-income ZIP codes, mainly because the quality of care is lower at hospitals in lower socioeconomic areas, the study authors said.

In fact, all patients (regardless of income) who had surgery at hospitals in the poorest areas were more likely to die, while all patients who had surgery at hospitals in the richest areas were less likely to die.

"It may be that hospitals that treat patients of lower socioeconomic status have lower quality of care due to fewer resources, such as technologically advanced equipment or specialists," lead author Dr. Nancy Birkmeyer, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Michigan, said in a Center for the Advancement of Health news release.

The study was published in the September issue of the journal Medical Care.

"While some prior studies have demonstrated socioeconomic disparities in the outcomes of individual procedures, ours is the first to show that the relationship is consistent across a wide range of surgical procedures," Birkmeyer said.

While the study can improve understanding of patterns of care, it doesn't offer concrete answers for elderly patients who need surgery, said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, a professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health at Yale University.

"The study can only really raise questions about inequalities in outcomes, because the authors have limitations in their ability to know the socioeconomic status of any particular patient and the condition of the patient when they had the surgery," Krumholz said in the news release. "Nevertheless, it is time for us to look closely at whether people are getting the same care and outcomes regardless of their financial circumstances."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about seniors and surgery.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Center for the Advancement of Health, news release, Sept. 11, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Oral Health a Matter of Life and Death for Seniors
2. GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
3. Seniors Need a Safety Plan in Face of Disasters
4. High Co-Pays Cause Seniors to Go Without Meds
5. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
6. Medicare Spending Caps Cause Seniors to Stop Meds
7. New Report: Dangerous Drug Side Effects and Deaths Doubled Since 1998... Seniors Hit Hardest
8. Medicare Cuts to Physicians Will Harm Washington Seniors
9. Obesity Wont Affect Seniors Memory
10. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
11. New York Times Exposes Harm to Seniors After Private Equity Buyouts of Nursing Homes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a ... the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who ... , Research from reveals that behind the tendency to set ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. ... and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the ... in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group ... Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville ... an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, ... -based mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform ... developed by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. ... in hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL ... can get any needed testing done in the comfort of her ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  In a startling report released today, National Safety ... lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... how states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... Of the 28 failing states, three – Michigan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: