The Role of Health Disparities and Socioeconomic Status in Emergent Gastrointestinal Procedures

Eve May, Kristin O. Brown, Edward Gracely, Gisele Podkameni, Linda Franklin, Harpreet Pall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: There is limited data describing the role of health disparity factors and socioeconomic status (SES) on emergent versus nonemergent gastrointestinal (GI) procedures within pediatrics. We aimed to characterize risk factors and determine the role of SES on emergent versus nonemergent GI care. We hypothesized that patients with lower SES incur higher risk of having emergent procedures performed. Methods: Retrospective chart review was performed between 2012 and 2016, with 2556 patient records reviewed. Demographic data and SES categories were determined. The majority of emergent procedures were performed on an inpatient basis. Health disparity factors analyzed included age, gender, insurance type, race, language, and SES using census tracts. Logistic regression analyses and paired t-tests were utilized. Results: Two hundred eighty-six (11.2%) patients had emergent GI procedures performed. Logistic regression (odds ratio [OR], confidence interval (95% CI)] showed patients from 6-11 to 12-17 years of age were less likely to seek emergent care than the youngest group [0.47, 0.33-0.66 and 0.61, 0.45-0.84]. Patients with Medicaid insurance [1.68, 1.27-2.26], African American or "other"race [2.07, 1.48-2.90 and 2.43, 1.77-3.36, respectively], as well as "other"language [2.1, 1.14-3.99] more often sought emergent care. Using geocoded data, we found that as SES increases by 1, emergent risk for procedures decreased by 2.9% (OR 0.97, p=0.045). Conclusions: Children with lower SES, at extremes of age (<5, >18 years), non-English or Spanish speaking and with Medicaid insurance are at higher risk of undergoing emergent GI procedures. This study gives us an opportunity to plan targeted interventions to improve access and quality of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management


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