Racial Disparities Exist in Child's Risk of Ruptured Appendix

Hospital type also a variable for appendiceal perforation among children in California

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of a ruptured appendix differs based on race and ethnicity and by hospital type among children in California, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Lorraine I. Kelley-Quon, M.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed the risk of appendiceal perforation within and between hospital types based on race and ethnicity in 107,727 children (2 to 18 years old) treated at 386 California hospitals. The children were 36 percent white, 53 percent Hispanic, 3 percent black, 5 percent Asian, and 8 percent "other."

The researchers found that, after accounting for hospital and patient level factors, compared with white children, the risk of appendiceal perforation was greater at community hospitals for Hispanic (odds ratio [OR], 1.23) and Asian (OR, 1.34) children. The risk was also greater for Hispanic children treated at children's hospitals (OR, 1.18). Compared with black children treated at community hospitals, the risk of appendiceal perforation was greater for black children at county hospitals (OR, 1.12) and children's hospitals (OR, 2.01). There were no racial differences in risk within county hospitals.

"Although the observed patterns of disparate appendiceal perforation were complex, they provide important evidence that current health care systems are inadequate to ensure equity in serious, preventable surgical conditions among children in California," Kelley-Quon and colleagues write.

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