World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1342–1350 | Cite as

Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in the Surgical Management and Outcomes of Patients with Colorectal Carcinoma

  • Ashley L. Cairns
  • Francisco Schlottmann
  • Paula D. Strassle
  • Marco Di Corpo
  • Marco G. PattiEmail author
Original Scientific Report



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the USA. We aimed to determine racial and socioeconomic disparities in the surgical management and outcomes of patients with CRC in a contemporary, national cohort.


We performed a retrospective analysis of the National Inpatient Sample for the period 2009–2015. Adult patients diagnosed with CRC and who underwent colorectal resection were included. Multivariable linear and logistic regressions were used to assess the effect of race, insurance type, and household income on patient outcomes.


A total of 100,515 patients were included: 72,552 (72%) had elective admissions and 27,963 (28%) underwent laparoscopic surgery. Patients with private insurance and higher household income were consistently more likely to have laparoscopic procedures, compared to other insurance types and income levels, p < 0.0001. Black patients, compared to white patients, were more likely to have postoperative complications (OR 1.23, 95% CI, 1.17, 1.29). Patients with Medicare and Medicaid, compared to private insurance, were also more likely to have postoperative complications (OR 1.30, 95% CI, 1.24, 1.37 and OR 1.40, 95% CI, 1.31, 1.50). Patients in low-household-income areas had higher rates of any complication (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.06, 1.16).


The use of laparoscopic surgery in patients with CRC is strongly influenced by insurance type and household income, with Medicare, Medicaid and low-income patients being less likely to undergo laparoscopic surgery. In addition, black patients, patients with public insurance, and patients with low household income have significant worse surgical outcomes.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley L. Cairns
    • 1
  • Francisco Schlottmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paula D. Strassle
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marco Di Corpo
    • 1
  • Marco G. Patti
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryHospital Alemán of Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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