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J Surg Res. 2010 Oct;163(2):290-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2010.05.018. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Acute appendicitis in latino children: do health disparities exist?

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Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada 89102, USA.



Significant racial and socioeconomic disparities have been found in the diagnosis and treatment of acute appendicitis in children. There has been little focus on the outcomes of Latino children with appendicitis. This study evaluates whether ethnicity or insurance status are associated with differences in presentation and outcomes of children with acute appendicitis.


A retrospective analysis was performed for all children between the ages of 2 and 18 y with acute appendicitis between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008 at the only teaching hospital in the region. χ(2) and regression analyses were used to evaluate the impact of ethnicity and insurance status on perforation rates and outcomes.


A total of 410 children with acute appendicitis were identified, of whom 259 (63.2%) were Latino. Latino children were on public insurance in greater proportion (34.8% versus 19.9%) compared with non-Latino children (P = 0.001). The perforation rate for the entire sample was 29.6%. There were no significant differences in perforation rates with respect to ethnicity, insurance status (private, public, none), or age. Once within the medical system, there were no significant differences in radiologic studies performed, types of operations received, length of stay, or number of complications between ethnic groups.


There have been multiple reports showing disparities in the rates of perforated appendicitis in children. At our institution, we observed no differences in the presentation and care of children with acute appendicitis with respect to ethnicity and insurance status.

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