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Boston [USA], Jan 18 (ANI): A new study has revealed that while critical care outcomes in intensive care units (ICUs) steadily improved over a decade at hospitals with few minority patients, ICUs with a more diverse patient population did not progress comparably.
Results show that the gap is most obvious to African-American patients with a critical illness.
The study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Lead author of the study John Danziger with his team examined trends in ICU mortality and length of stay from 2006 to 2016 in more than 200 hospitals across the United States.
The team also examined evidence from two types of institutions to explore disparities in critical care outcomes across hospitals.
Africa-American and/or Hispanic ICU patient censuses of over 25 per cent were classified as minority-serving hospitals and a non-minority hospital.
For non-minority hospitals, the team found a consistent two-per cent average reduction for ICU deaths; however, the same mortality rate increase was not reported in minority hospitals. Minority-serving hospitals also reported longer lengths of ICU stay and critical illness hospitalizations than non-minority hospitals.
In addition to the disparity for all ICU patients seen in minority-serving hospitals, the researchers observed a particularly stark difference in care for critically ill African-American patients. African-Americans treated at non-minority hospitals experienced a three per cent decline in mortality each year, compared to no decline in mortality when treated at minority-serving hospitals.
While the study does not determine whether the outcomes at minority-serving hospitals are due to differences in hospital resources and practices or a systemic disparity of these patient populations, the findings highlight the profound obstacles minorities and minority-serving hospitals face.
John Danziger said: “Although our analysis does not resolve the reasons for differences in outcomes, it identifies minority-serving hospitals as an area of great need. Focusing research efforts to further address these inequalities is critical in mitigating the disadvantages minorities face and ultimately closing the health care divide.” (ANI)