Objective: To characterize the effects markers of socioeconomic status (SES), including race and ethnicity, health insurance status, and median household income by zip code on in-patient mortality after cardiac valve surgery.
Design: Retrospective cohort study of adult valve surgery patients included in the State Inpatient Databases and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. The primary outcome was mortality during the index admission. Bivariate analyses and multivariate regression models were used to assess the independent effects of race and ethnicity, payer status, and median income by patient zip code on in-hospital mortality.
Design: Multistate database of hospitalizations from 2007 to 2014 from New York, Florida, Kentucky, California, and Maryland.
Participants: In total, 181,305 patients ≥18 years old underwent mitral or aortic valve repair or replacement and met the inclusion criteria.
Measurements and main results: Mortality rates were higher among black (5.59%) than white patients (4.28%, p < 0.001) and among Medicaid (4.66%), Medicare (5.22%), and uninsured (4.58%) patients compared with private insurance (2.45%, p < 0.001). After controlling for age, sex, presenting comorbidities, urgent or emergent operative status, and hospital case volume, mortality odds remained significantly elevated for black (odds ratio [OR] 1.127, confidence interval [CI] 1.038-1.223), uninsured (OR 1.213, CI 1.020-1.444), Medicaid (OR 1.270, 95% CI 1.116-1.449) and Medicare (OR 1.316, 95% CI 1.216-1.415) patients.
Conclusions: Markers of low SES, including race/ethnicity, insurance status, and household income, are associated with increased risk of in-hospital mortality following cardiac valve surgery. Further research is warranted to understand and help decrease mortality risk in underinsured, less-wealthy and non-white patients undergoing cardiac valve surgery.
Keywords: cardiac surgery; insurance status; racial disparities; socioeconomic status; valve surgery.
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