Disparities in survival after traumatic injury among minority and uninsured patients has been well described for younger patients. But information is lacking on the effect of race on trauma outcomes for older patients.
How the Study Was Conducted:
The authors examined in-hospital mortality after trauma for black and white patients between the ages of 16 and 64 years and 65 years and older. The study included more than 1 million patients (502,167 patients were age 16 to 64 years and 571,028 patients were 65 years and older).
Younger white patients had better trauma outcomes than younger black patients, but older black patients fared better than similarly injured older white patients. The authors point out that similar paradoxical findings have been seen among nontrauma patients.
"Exploration of this paradoxical finding may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms that cause disparities in trauma outcomes."