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Int J Colorectal Dis. 2018 Sep;33(9):1195-1200. doi: 10.1007/s00384-018-3074-y. Epub 2018 May 24.

Distance to hospital is not a risk factor for emergency colon cancer surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, SE-901 88, Umeå, Sweden. niillas.blind@umu.se.
2
Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, SE-901 88, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study is to see if the distance to a hospital performing colon cancer surgery is a risk factor for emergency surgical intervention and to determine the variability between defined but demographically divergent catchment areas.

METHODS:

Data on patients living in Västerbotten County who underwent colon cancer surgery between 2007 and 2010 were extracted from the Swedish Colorectal Cancer Register (SCRCR). Of the 436 registrations matching these criteria, 380 patients were used in the analysis, and their distance to the nearest hospital providing care for colorectal cancer (CRC) was estimated using Google Maps™. The correlations between the risk for emergency surgery and the distance to a hospital, gender, age, income level and hospital catchment area were analysed in uni- and multivariate models.

RESULTS:

Distance to the nearest hospital had no significant effect on the proportion of emergency operations for colon cancer. There was significant variability in risk for emergency surgery between hospital catchment areas, where the catchment areas of the university hospital and the most rural hospital had a higher proportion than the other local hospital catchment area (OR, 2.00 (p = 0.038) and OR, 2.97 (p = 0.005)). These results were still significant when analysed with multivariate logistic regression (OR, 2.13 (p = 0.026) and OR, 3.05 (p = 0.013)).

CONCLUSION:

Distance to a hospital performing colon cancer surgery had no effect on the proportion of emergency surgeries. However, a variability between defined catchment areas was seen. Future studies will focus on possible factors behind this variability.

KEYWORDS:

Colon cancer; Distance; Emergency surgery; Rural

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