Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blacks Twice As Susceptible And More Likely To Die Of Severe Sepsis Than Whites, Study Finds

Date:
February 5, 2008
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Blacks have almost double the rate of severe sepsis -- an overwhelming infection of the bloodstream accompanied by acute organ dysfunction -- as whites, according to recent research.

Blacks have almost double the rate of severe sepsis--an overwhelming infection of the bloodstream accompanied by acute organ dysfunction--as whites, according to recent research.

"The difference in incidence was evident by age 20 and continued throughout the adult lifespan. After accounting for differences in poverty and geography, black race remained independently associated with higher severe sepsis incidence," wrote lead authors Amber E. Barnato, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., of the Center for Research on Health Care at the University of Pittsburgh, and Sherri L. Alexander, Ph.D., of Genentech. Hispanics, on the other hand, have a lower incidence of severe sepsis than whites.

What is more, blacks die more frequently of severe sepsis that either whites or Hispanics.

The findings appear in the first issue for February of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

Dr. Barnato and colleagues conducted a retrospective population-based analysis of race-specific incidence and ICU case fatality rates for hospital-based infection and severe sepsis in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Texas. They obtained demographic and socioeconomic data from the 2000 U.S. census and clinical data for hospitalized severe sepsis cases from the hospitals' discharge data. They compared incidence of severe sepsis, ICU admission and ICU case fatality among races, controlling for age and gender. The total analysis included more than 71 million people.

"Blacks do indeed have a higher rate of severe sepsis--almost double that of whites," wrote Dr. Barnato. "Some, but not all of this increase was explained by blacks' more frequent residence in ZIP codes with higher poverty rates, suggesting that social, rather than biological determinants, such as health behavior and access to primary care, may contribute to this disparity," Dr. Barnato continued. "In contrast, Hispanic ethnicity appeared protective, conditional on similar regional urbanicity and poverty."

The investigators considered several possible explanations for their results, including racial variation in susceptibility to particular types of infections or organ dysfunction, and overall health at baseline. "However, the severe sepsis syndrome characteristics were not markedly different among the groups with respect to the site of infection, microbiologic etiology and both the number and type of organ dysfunction," wrote Dr. Barnato. Furthermore, "the burden of chronic conditions among severe sepsis cases did not differ substantially across racial groups."

One factor that clearly differed among groups was the type of hospital facilities in which patients received care.

Blacks were more likely to be treated at hospitals with poorer outcomes for severe sepsis than whites. "If a black and white patient with the same clinical characteristics were treated at the same hospital, they would have identical case survival rates," said Dr. Barnato. "Therefore," she continued, "it may be that the hospitals that treat most black patients see black and white patients who are sicker than we can measure using these data sources, and/or that these hospitals are providing lower quality care."

The study could not rule out unmeasured underlying differences such as behavior, pharmaceutical use, healthcare resources and within-hospital variations in treatment by race that may have contributed to the differences in case fatality observed, nor could they dismiss the possibility of a biological basis for racial disparities in susceptibility and outcome of severe sepsis, which could have "potentially important implications for treating sepsis."

Despite possible explanations for the racial disparities that could not be ruled out, Dr. Barnato points out that "the overall mortality disparity among blacks could be partially ameliorated by focused interventions to improve processes and outcomes of care at the hospitals that are disproportionately black."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Blacks Twice As Susceptible And More Likely To Die Of Severe Sepsis Than Whites, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085744.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2008, February 5). Blacks Twice As Susceptible And More Likely To Die Of Severe Sepsis Than Whites, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085744.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Blacks Twice As Susceptible And More Likely To Die Of Severe Sepsis Than Whites, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080201085744.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins