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Study reports racial disparities in pediatric appendicitis treatment tied to hospital type
Date:12/28/2012

rs old who were treated for appendicitis at 386 California hospitals between 1999 and 2007. Of these children, 53 percent were Hispanic, 36 percent were white, 3 percent were black, 5 percent were Asian, and 8 percent were of an unknown race. The children were sorted by hospital type, which included community, children's and county hospitals.

After accounting for age, income level and other known factors that increase risk for a perforated appendix, researchers found that at community hospitals, Hispanic children were 23 percent more likely to experience appendix perforation than white children, and Asian children were 34 percent more likely than white children to experience appendix perforation. Further, Hispanic patients treated at children's hospitals were 18 percent more likely to develop this complication than white patients. Odds of appendix perforation did not differ by race within county hospitals. Researchers also found that black patients treated at children's and county hospitals had a higher risk of appendix perforation compared with black patients treated at community hospitals.

Beyond what the researchers already know about appendicitis outcomes in children, these findings indicate that hospital type does play an independent role in risk for perforated appendicitis, and that these disparities in appendicitis outcomes exist at different types of hospitals based upon race, Dr. Shew said. "The goal is to figure out why these racial disparities exist and what interventions could be put in place to help eliminate them," he added.

Dr. Shew stressed that further research is still needed on a variety of issues, including whether there is a link between language barriers and understanding symptoms of appendicitis and access to care. "We don't know what explains these findings; however we suspect that there are some other barriers in play," Dr. Shew said. This discovery shows that a critical piece of the puzzlewhat is happening wi
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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