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Burns. 2011 Aug;37(5):762-9. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.01.015. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

Influence of race and neighborhood on the risk for and outcomes of burns in the elderly in North Carolina.

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  • 1The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center and the Department of Surgery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599, USA.


Risk factors for mortality and length of hospital stay in elderly burn patients are well established, but the influence of race and socioeconomic status has not been evaluated. This study evaluates the effect of neighborhood level socioeconomic indicators on burns risk, and determines whether race and neighborhood influence burn injury outcomes in the elderly. Data from the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center was linked to United States Census Bureau block group socioeconomic data. The odds of death and increased length of hospital stay for European-Americans and Minorities were determined using logistic regression. Rates of burn were determined using Poisson regression, and multilevel modeling was used to evaluate the influence of neighborhood on outcomes. No significant differences in mortality were observed between European-American and Minority patients in individual (Minority OR 0.71; p=0.3200) and multilevel (0.72; p=0.4020) models. Minorities had significantly higher odds of increased length of hospital stay in individual (2.05; p=0.0020) and multilevel (2.55; 0.037) models. High proportions of rural households (RR=1.39; p=0.0010) and poverty (1.26; p<0.0001) were significantly associated with increased risk of burn. Additional investigation using larger databases will allow further elucidation of the contextual effects of socioeconomic status on burn in the elderly.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.

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