Title

Racial Disparities in 30-Day Outcomes After Colorectal Surgery in an Integrated Healthcare System

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-1-2022

Journal

Journal of gastrointestinal surgery : official journal of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract

Volume

26

Issue

2

DOI

10.1007/s11605-021-05151-6

Keywords

Colorectal/IBD; Health systems and health services research

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Racial disparities in colorectal surgery outcomes have been studied extensively in the USA, and access to healthcare resources may contribute to these differences. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated healthcare network in the USA with the potential for equal access care to veterans. The objective of this study is to evaluate the VHA for the presence of racial disparities in 30-day outcomes of patients that underwent colorectal resection. METHODS: Colon and rectal resections from 2008 to 2019 were reviewed retrospectively using the Veterans Affairs Surgical Quality Improvement Program database. Patients were categorized by race and ethnicity. Multivariable analysis was used to compare 30-day outcomes. Cases with "unknown/other/declined to answer" race/ethnicity were excluded. RESULTS: Thirty-six-thousand-nine-hundred-sixty-nine cases met inclusion criteria: 27,907 (75.5%) Caucasian, 6718 (18.2%) African American, 2047 (5.5%) Hispanic, and 290 (0.8%) Native American patients. There were no statistically significant differences in overall complication incidence or mortality between all cohorts. Compared to Caucasian race, African American patients had longer mean length of stay (10.7 days vs. 9.7 days; p < 0.001). Compared to Caucasian race, Hispanic patients had higher odds of pulmonary-specific complications (adjusted odds ratio with 95% confidence interval = 1.39 [1.17-1.64]; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The VHA provides the benefits of integrated healthcare and access, which may explain the improvements in racial disparities compared to existing literature. However, some racial disparities in clinical outcomes still persisted in this analysis. Further efforts beyond healthcare access are needed to mitigate disparities in colorectal surgery. CLASSIFICATIONS: [Outcomes]; [Database]; [Veterans]; [Colorectal Surgery]; [Morbidity]; [Mortality].

Department

Surgery

Share

COinS