JUL 23, 2020 2:20 PM PDT

Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Children's Postsurgical Outcomes

WRITTEN BY: Tiffany Dazet

A study published this week in Pediatrics revealed racial disparities in postsurgical mortality and complications in children. According to the study, differences in health outcomes for African American versus white patients "is not novel." The study states that race is a "key determinant of postoperative outcomes" and that in general, African American patients have higher rates of postoperative morbidity and mortality when compared to their white peers. This new study's objective was to understand the racial disparities in postoperative outcomes among apparently healthy children.

Using information from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (Pediatric), the research team analyzed the outcomes of 172,529 children who had inpatient operations from 2012 to 2017. According to Scientific American, to ensure that the children were generally healthy, the researchers only used patients who had an American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status of 1 or 2.

In an article from Scientific American regarding the study, Olubukola Nafiu, co-author and pediatric anesthesiologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital (Columbus, Ohio), explained, "We talk about economic factors, the nonavailability of hospitals in African American communities, or how sick a patient is when they present. We decided to ask, 'What if we're dealing with relatively healthy patients?'"

Overall, the analysis found a 0.02% risk of 30-day mortality with a 13.9% chance of postoperative complications and a 5.7% chance of other serious adverse events. The study revealed that compared to their white peers, African American children had 3.43 times the odds of dying within 30 days of surgery. They also had an 18% greater chance of developing postoperative complications and a 7% chance of developing other serious adverse events.

The study concludes that although these rates are low, there is still a significant association between being African American and experiencing postoperative complications or deaths. Additionally, the study conveys hope that this information will be used to assess risk and guide preoperative discussions and decisions. The authors clarify that this study does not "establish causality between race and postsurgical complications or mortality." Instead, it highlights the strong association between the two as well as the disparity with white peers.

Sources: Pediatrics, Scientific American
 

About the Author
  • Tiffany grew up in Southern California, where she attended San Diego State University. She graduated with a degree in Biology with a marine emphasis, thanks to her love of the ocean and wildlife. With 13 years of science writing under her belt, she now works as a freelance writer in the Pacific Northwest.
You May Also Like
DEC 22, 2020
Health & Medicine
Cannabis Use May Help People on an Opioid Detox Program Stay on Track
DEC 22, 2020
Cannabis Use May Help People on an Opioid Detox Program Stay on Track
New research suggests that cannabis use by people being treated for opioid addiction might improve outcomes and reduce t ...
DEC 28, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
How an Herbal Compound May Fight Pancreatic Cancer
DEC 28, 2020
How an Herbal Compound May Fight Pancreatic Cancer
For centuries, Chinese practitioners have used herbs to treat all kinds of ailments. New research has shown that one of ...
JAN 01, 2021
Microbiology
A New Type of Antibiotics Help the Immune System Fight Pathogens
JAN 01, 2021
A New Type of Antibiotics Help the Immune System Fight Pathogens
Reporting in Nature, scientists have identified a new group of compounds that may help us get out of the antibiotic-resi ...
JAN 11, 2021
Cancer
Sentinel Nodes Could Reveal a Tumor's Prognosis
JAN 11, 2021
Sentinel Nodes Could Reveal a Tumor's Prognosis
For many diseases, the ability to quickly and effectively diagnose or prognose a patient is critical. If caught early on ...
JAN 11, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Treating Progeria With a CRISPR Technique
JAN 11, 2021
Treating Progeria With a CRISPR Technique
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome is a rare disorder that impacts around 400 people in the world. Many people have he ...
JAN 13, 2021
Cardiology
Short Bursts of Exercise Boost Markers of Good Health
JAN 13, 2021
Short Bursts of Exercise Boost Markers of Good Health
Exercise is good for our health, but it seems that certain kinds of exercise are more beneficial than others. Recent res ...
Loading Comments...