Complication rate after bariatric surgery higher for black patients

(HealthDay)—Black patients have higher rates of 30-day complications and resource use than white patients after bariatric surgery, according to a study published online March 6 in JAMA Surgery.

Michael H. Wood, M.D., from Harper University Hospital and Wayne State University in Detroit, and colleagues examined the effect of race on perioperative and one-year outcomes of bariatric surgery in a propensity score-matched cohort of black and white patients (7,105 in each group).

The researchers found that the rate of any 30-day complication was higher for black patients (8.8 versus 6.8 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 1.33); rates of serious complications and mortality did not differ significantly between the groups. Black patients had a longer length of stay (mean, 2.2 versus 1.9 days; adjusted odds ratio, 0.30) and an increased rate of emergency department visits (11.6 versus 7.6 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 1.60) and readmissions (5.8 versus 3.5 percent; adjusted odds ratio, 1.73). Black patients had lower mean total body weight loss at one year (32.0 kg [26.0 percent] versus 38.3 kg [29 percent]). At one year, fewer black than white patients reported a good or very good quality of life (87.2 versus 90.4 percent) and being satisfied with the surgery (78.4 versus 84.2 percent).

“Racial and cultural differences among patients should be considered when designing strategies to optimize outcomes with bariatric surgery,” the authors write.

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