Racial disparities after vascular trauma are age-dependent

J Vasc Surg. 2016 Aug;64(2):418-424. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2016.01.049. Epub 2016 Mar 15.


Objective: Different racial disparities exist between white and black all-cause trauma patients depending on their age group; however, the effects of race and age on outcomes after vascular trauma are unknown. We assessed whether the previously described age-dependent racial disparities after all-cause trauma persist in the vascular trauma population.

Methods: Vascular trauma patients were identified from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (January 2005 to December 2012) using International Classification of Diseases-Ninth Edition codes. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to compare in-hospital mortality and amputation for blacks vs whites for younger (16-64 years) and older (≥65 years) age groups.

Results: Black patients (n = 937) were younger, more frequently male, without insurance, and suffered from more penetrating and nonaccidental injuries than white patients (n = 1486; P < .001). On univariable analysis, blacks had a significantly higher risk of death (odds ratio, [OR], 1.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-2.74) and a significantly lower risk of amputation (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.38-0.77), but these differences were not sustained after adjusting for baseline differences between groups. When stratified by age, there were significant racial disparities in mortality and amputation on univariable analysis. After risk adjustment, these differences persisted in the older group (mortality: OR, 5.95; 95% CI, 1.42-25.0; amputation: OR, 4.21; 95% CI, 1.28-13.6; P < .001) but not the younger group (mortality: OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.71-2.42; amputation: OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.58-1.46; P = not significant). Differences in survival and amputation after vascular trauma appear to be related to a higher prevalence of nonaccidental penetrating injuries in the younger black population. Race was the single greatest predictor of poor outcomes in the older population (P ≤ .008).

Conclusions: Older black patients are nearly five-times more likely to experience death or amputation after vascular trauma than their white counterparts. Contrary to reports suggesting that younger white patients have better outcomes after all-cause trauma than younger black patients, racial disparities among patients with traumatic vascular injuries appear to be confined to the older age group after risk adjustment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Amputation, Surgical* / adverse effects
  • Amputation, Surgical* / mortality
  • Black or African American*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Limb Salvage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vascular System Injuries / diagnosis
  • Vascular System Injuries / ethnology*
  • Vascular System Injuries / mortality
  • Vascular System Injuries / surgery*
  • White People*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / diagnosis
  • Wounds, Penetrating / ethnology*
  • Wounds, Penetrating / mortality
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery*
  • Young Adult