The Association Of Race With Outcomes Among Parturients Undergoing Cesarean Section With Perioperative Epidural Catheter Placement: A Nationwide Analysis

Abstract

Background: In obstetrical health care, disparities have been documented in different aspects of maternal care and outcomes. Prior epidemiological studies have shown that labor analgesia is underused in African-American and Hispanic groups, which means there may be inadequate labor pain control in these groups. Differences in usage have been attributed primarily to insurance, educational levels and perceptional influences such as fear of paralysis and chronic low back pain. In cesarean section deliveries, race and ethnicity affect the choice of anesthesia considered. How race and ethnicity affect maternal outcomes in cesarean sections with epidural placements generally has been unexplored. Disparities in health care utilization are shown to contribute to the disparities in health outcomes.
Methods: This is a retrospective analysis using data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (AHRQ-HCUP), the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database from January 2003 to December 2013, which is a 20% stratified sample of the nonfederal hospitals in the United States. Women undergoing cesarean section (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) procedure codes 74.0, 74.1, 74.2, 74.4, 74.99) with perioperative epidural catheter placement (ICD-9-CM procedure codes 3.90, 3.91) were included for analysis.
Results: The final cohort used for analysis included 87,076 patients. There were significant differences in the distribution of patient characteristics across the race groups. The majority of health care coverage for Caucasians and Asians was private insurance, while for African-American, Hispanic and Native American was Medicare and Medicaid. Almost all the examined comorbid conditions were statistically significant and highest in the African-American group, including hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and renal failure, except for congestive heart failure that was highest in the Asian group. Cesarean sections took place mostly in an urban teaching hospital across all groups. Discharge to home was the predominant destination after recovery. The mean cost of hospitalization was 14,604 dollars per stay and the mean length of stay was 3.7 days. In our cohort, the adverse event rate was very small. Our findings indicate racial differences in comorbidities which occurred more often in minorities. Adverse maternal outcomes of hematoma, blood transfusion, cardiac arrest, and ventricular fibrillation occurred more frequently in minority groups undergoing cesarean sections with epidural catheter placements throughout the period of 2003-2013.
Conclusion: From using the NIS database, our findings indicate racial differences in comorbidities which occurred more often in minorities. Adverse maternal outcomes of hematoma, blood transfusion, cardiac arrest, and ventricular fibrillation occurred more frequently in minority groups undergoing cesarean sections with epidural catheter placements throughout the period of 2003-2013. Further population studies are warranted to determine the biological or perception etiologies that are contributing to these disparities.

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