Intestinal condition more deadly in African-Americans

November 23, 2011 2:24:14 PM PST
Elderly African-American patients who undergo surgery for the intestinal condition diverticulitis are more likely to die in the hospital than elderly white patients.

Johns Hopkins researchers analyzed more than 50,000 Medicare patients over three years. They found that regardless of whether surgery was planned or done as an emergency African-American patients were 28 percent more likely to die while in the hospital than white patients.

The findings also held up when both patient groups had the same health insurance.

Doctors involved say more study is needed to identify the cause of the disparity.

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