Objectives: This study assessed racial/ethnic disparities in post-operative mortality after surgery for congenital heart disease (CHD) and explored whether disparities persist after adjusting for access to care.
Study design: We used the Pediatric Health Information System database to perform a retrospective cohort study of 44,017 patients with 49,833 CHD surgery encounters in 2004-2008 at 41 children's hospitals. We used χ(2) analysis to compare unadjusted mortality rates by race/ethnicity (non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic) and constructed Poisson regression models to determine adjusted mortality risk ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs.
Results: In-hospital post-operative mortality rate was 3.4%; non-Hispanic whites had the lowest mortality rate (2.8%), followed by non-Hispanic blacks (3.6%) and Hispanics (3.9%) (P < .0001). After adjusting for age, sex, genetic syndrome, and surgery risk category, the RR of death was 1.32 for non-Hispanic blacks (CI, 1.14-1.52) and 1.21 for Hispanics (CI, 1.07-1.37), both compared with non-Hispanic whites. After adjusting for access to care (insurance type and hospital of surgery), these estimates did not appreciably change (non-Hispanic blacks: RR, 1.27; CI, 1.09-1.47; Hispanics: RR, 1.22; CI, 1.05-1.41).
Conclusions: There are notable racial/ethnic disparities in post-operative mortality after CHD surgery that do not appear to be explained by differences in access to care.
Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.