Exploring Racial, Gender, and Insurance Disparities in Patients with Osteoporotic Fractures

J Community Health. 2017 Dec;42(6):1111-1117. doi: 10.1007/s10900-017-0359-y.


The objective of this study is to examine racial, gender, and insurance disparities in hospital outcomes among patients diagnosed with osteoporotic fractures aged 55 years and older. A total of 36,153 patients were included in this study. The sample was constructed from de-identified patient-level data for 2011 through 2014 from the Virginia Health Information (VHI) inpatient discharge database. Differences in mortality and 30-day readmission across race, gender, and insurance status were examined using logistic regression and generalized linear models for hospital charges and length of stay. Whites and Asians had a shorter stay than Blacks [5.2 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 5.1-5.3) and 5.0 days (95% CI 4.7-5.2) vs. 5.6 days (95% CI 5.4-5.7)], while Hispanics had a significantly longer stay [6.0 days (95% CI 5.6-6.5)]. On average, total charges were the highest among Blacks [$37,916 (95% CI 36,784-39,083)]. All outcomes were poorer for men than women. Privately and publicly insured patients were more likely to be readmitted [odds ratio (OR) 1.6 (95% CI 1.0-2.6) and OR 2.0 (95% CI 1.3-3.2)] and had a shorter stay than the uninsured [4.9 days (95% CI 4.8-5.0) and 5.2 days (95% CI 5.1-5.3) vs. 5.7 days (95% CI 5.4-6.0)], while privately insured patients had considerably lower total charges than those who were uninsured [$34,163 (95% CI 33,214-35,139) vs. $36,335 (95% CI 34,334-38,452)]. As evidenced from this study, there are racial, gender, and insurance disparities in health outcomes. These results and further exploration of these disparities could provide information necessary for strategies to improve these outcomes in at-risk patients diagnosed with osteoporotic fractures.

Keywords: Disparities; Hospital outcomes; Hospitalizations; Osteoporotic fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / epidemiology*
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / therapy
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Virginia / epidemiology