Racial disparity in time to surgery and complications for hip fracture patients

Suresh K. Nayar, Majd Marrache, Iman Ali, Jarred Bressner, Micheal Raad, Babar Shafiq, Uma Srikumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Racial and ethnic disparities in orthopedic surgery may be associated with worse perioperative complications. For patients with hip fractures, studies have shown that early surgery, typically within 24 to 48 hours of admission, may decrease postoperative morbidity and mortality. Our objective was to determine whether race is associated with longer time to surgery from hospital presentation and increased postoperative complications. Methods: We queried the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2011 to 2017 for patients (> 65 years) with hip fractures who underwent surgical fixation. Patients were identified using Current Procedural Terminology codes (27235, 27236, 27244, and 27245). Delayed surgery was defined as time to surgery from hospital admission that was greater than 48 hours. Time to surgery was compared between races using analysis of variance. A multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusting for comorbidities, age, sex, and surgery was performed to determine the likelihood of delayed surgery and rate of postoperative complications. Results: A total of 58,456 patients who underwent surgery for a hip fracture were included in this study. Seventy-two percent were female patients and the median age was 87 years. The median time to surgery across all patients was 24 hours. African Americans had the longest time to surgery (30.4 ± 27.6 hours) compared to Asians (26.5 ± 24.6 hours), whites (25.8 ± 23.4 hours), and other races (22.7 ± 22.0 hours) (p < 0.001). After adjusting for comorbidities, age, sex, and surgery, there was a 43% increase in the odds of delayed surgery among American Africans compared to whites (odds ratio, 1.43; 95% confidence interval, 1.29–1.58; p < 0.001). Despite higher odds of reintubation, pulmonary embolism, renal insufficiency or failure, and cardiac arrest in African Americans, mortality was significantly lower compared to white patients (4.41% vs. 6.02%, p < 0.001). Asian Americans had the lowest mortality rate (3.84%). Conclusions: A significant disparity in time to surgery and perioperative complications was seen amongst different races with only African Americans having a longer time to surgery than whites. Further study is needed to determine the etiology of this disparity and highlights the need for targeted strategies to help at-risk patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-434
Number of pages5
JournalCiOS Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Complications
  • Hip fracture
  • National surgical quality improvement program
  • Racial disparity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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