Racial disparities in surgical management and outcomes of acute limb ischemia in the United States

Surg Open Sci. 2021 Sep 10:6:45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.sopen.2021.08.003. eCollection 2021 Oct.


Background: Although significant racial disparities in the surgical management of lower extremity critical limb threatening ischemia have been previously reported, data on disparities in lower extremity acute limb ischemia are lacking.

Methods: The 2012-2018 National Inpatient Sample was queried for all adult hospitalizations for acute limb ischemia (N = 225,180). Hospital-specific observed-to-expected rates of major lower extremity amputation were tabulated. Multivariable logistic and linear models were developed to assess the impact of race on amputation and revascularization.

Results: Nonwhite race was associated with significantly increased odds of overall (adjusted odds ratio: 1.16, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.28) and primary (adjusted odds ratio: 1.34, 95% confidence interval 1.17-1.53) major amputation, decreased odds of revascularization (adjusted odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.73-0.85), but decreased in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio: 0.86, 95% confidence interval 0.74-0.99). The nonwhite group incurred increased adjusted index hospitalization costs (β: +$4,810, 95% confidence interval 3,280-6,350), length of stay (β: + 1.09 days, 95% confidence interval 0.70-1.48), and nonhome discharge (adjusted odds ratio: 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.26).

Conclusion: Significant racial disparities exist in the management of and outcomes of lower extremity acute limb ischemia despite correction for variations in hospital amputation practices and other relevant hospital and patient characteristics. Whether the etiology lies primarily in patient, institution, or healthcare provider-specific factors has not yet been determined. Further studies of race-based disparities in management and outcomes of acute limb ischemia are warranted to provide effective and equitable care to all.