Firearm trauma: Race and insurance influence mortality and discharge disposition

Derek C. Lumbard, Rebecca L. Freese, Ashley P. Marek, Frederick W. Endorf, Chad J. Richardson, Rachel M. Nygaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND Health insurance and race impact mortality and discharge outcomes in the general trauma population. It remains unclear if disparities exist by race and/or insurance in outcomes following firearm injuries. The purpose of this study was to assess differences in mortality and discharge based on race and insurance status following firearm injuries. METHODS The National Trauma Data Bank (2007-2016) was queried for firearm injuries by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth/Tenth Revision, Ecodes. Patients with known discharge disposition, age (18-64 years), race, and insurance were included in analysis (N = 120,005). To minimize bias due to missing data, we used multiple imputation for variables associated with outcomes following traumatic injury: Injury Severity Score, Glasgow Coma Scale score, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, and sex. Multivariable regression analysis was additionally adjusted for age, sex, Injury Severity Score, intent, Glasgow Coma Scale score, systolic blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, year, and clustered by facility to assess differences in mortality and discharge disposition. RESULTS The average age was 31 years, 88.6% were male, and 50% non-Hispanic Blacks. Overall mortality was 11.5%. Self-pay insurance was associated with a significant increase in mortality rates in all racial groups compared with non-Hispanic Whites with commercial insurance. Hispanic commercial, Medicaid, and self-pay patients were significantly less likely to discharge with posthospital care compared with commercially insured non-Hispanic Whites. When examining racial differences in mortality and discharge by individual insurance types, commercially insured non-Hispanic Black and other race patients were significantly less likely to die compared with similarly insured non-Hispanic White patients. Regardless of race, no significant differences in mortality were observed in Medicaid or self-pay patients compared with non-Hispanic White patients. CONCLUSION Victims of firearm injuries with a self-pay insurance status have a significantly higher rate of mortality. Hispanic patients regardless of insurance status were significantly less likely to discharge with posthospital care compared with non-Hispanic Whites with commercial insurance. Continued efforts are needed to understand and address the relationship between insurance status, race, and outcomes following firearm violence. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Prognostic and epidemiologic, Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Volume92
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the Hitchcock Surgical Society Resident Research Fund for providing funds to purchase the NTDB. The NTDB remains the full and exclusive copyrighted property of the American College of Surgeons. The American College of Surgeons is not responsible for any claims arising from works based on the original data, text, tables, or figures. The University of Minnesota Clinical and Translation Science Institute is supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant UL1TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. DISCLOSURE

Publisher Copyright:
© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Firearms
  • disparity
  • insurance
  • race
  • trauma

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