Black children are more likely to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix than white children

Research Activities, June 2010, No. 358

Black children were one-third more likely than white children to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix in 2006, according to the latest data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). If not treated quickly, a ruptured appendix can cause life-threatening complications. Ruptures may result when the warning signs of appendicitis are missed, leading to a delay in surgery to remove the infected appendix. In some cases, parents may not be able to get health care quickly enough.

The Federal agency's analysis found that:

  • The hospital admission rate of black children for a ruptured appendix in 2006 was 365 per 1,000 admissions compared with 276 per 1,000 admissions for white children.
  • Hispanic children had the second-highest rate, 344.5 per 1,000 admissions, followed by Asian and Pacific Island children, at 329 per 1,000 admissions.
  • Poverty played a role for all children, regardless of race or ethnicity. Children from poor communities were 26 percent more likely to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix than those from higher-income communities (337 per 1,000 admissions compared with 268.5 per 1,000 admissions). At all income levels, Black and Hispanic children had higher ruptured appendix rates than white children.

These findings are based on data from pages 256-257 in the 2009 National Healthcare Disparities Report at Child and Adolescent Healthcare (Fact Sheet) . The report examines the disparities in Americans' access to and quality of health care, with breakdowns by race, ethnicity, income, and education.

Current as of June 2010
Internet Citation: Black children are more likely to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix than white children: Research Activities, June 2010, No. 358. June 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jun10/0610RA26.html