Black patients are at higher risk of losing their ability to live independently after surgery than white patients, according to a study published June 28 in Annals of Surgery.
Researchers from Montefiore Health System in New York City analyzed the outcomes of 368,360 adult surgery patients treated at two academic healthcare networks in New England between 2007 and 2020.
Black patients were 42 percent more likely to be discharged to a nursing home after surgery than white patients. Researchers cited the high prevalence of uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension among Black patients as a possible key contributing factor to this disparity, noting the risk was mitigated for patients who took medications to control these conditions prior to surgery.
"Optimized preoperative assessment and treatment of diabetes and hypertension improves surgical outcomes and provides an opportunity to the surgeon to help eliminate healthcare disparities," researchers said.