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Keywords

Discrimination in medical care; Ethnic disparity; Health disparity; Minority health disparity; Racial disparity

Abstract

Objective: This study investigates racial disparities in the use of commonly performed medical procedures in U.S. hospitals. Methods: To examine racial disparities, we calculated age-adjusted rate of procedures used by all Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians or Pacific Islanders and Native Americans and calculated corresponding Relative Risks(RRs) of White vs. all other races based on procedure utilizations and insurance types using 20% random sample of Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) data between 2001 and2003. Results: Whites were significantly more likely to receive 3 of the study procedures than Blacks, 3 of the procedures than Hispanics, 2 of the procedures than Asians or Pacific Islanders and 4 of the procedures than Native Americans (p<0.05). We also found racial disparities to receive medical procedures based on patients’ insurance status.However, only in a few cases were these differences substantial. Conclusion: Race plays a significantly important role in the use of commonly performed medical procedures in U.S. hospitals.


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