Addressing ethnic disparities in imaging utilization and clinical outcomes for COVID-19

Clin Imaging. 2021 Jun 18;77:276-282. doi: 10.1016/j.clinimag.2021.06.018. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Racial and ethnic disparities have exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic as the healthcare system is overwhelmed. While Hispanics are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, little is known about ethnic disparities in the hospital settings. This study investigates imaging utilization and clinical outcomes between Hispanic and non-Hispanic COVID-19 patients in the Emergency Department (ED) and during hospitalization.

METHODS: Through retrospective chart review, we included 331 symptomatic COVID-19 patients (mean age 53.2 years) at a metropolitan healthcare system from March to June 2020. Poisson regression was used to compare diagnostic imaging utilization and clinical outcomes between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients.

RESULTS: After adjusting for confounders, no statistically significant difference was found between Hispanic and non-Hispanic patients for the number of weekly chest X-rays. Results were categorized into four clinical outcomes: ED management (0.16 ± 0.05 vs. 0.14 ± 0.8, p:0.79); requiring inpatient management (1.31 ± 0.11 vs. 1.46 ± 0.16, p:0.43); ICU admission without invasive ventilation (1.4 ± 0.17 vs. 1.35 ± 0.26, p:0.86); and ICU admission and ventilator support (3.29 ± 0.22 vs. 3.59 ± 0.37, p:0.38). There were no statistically significant relative differences in adjusted prevalence rate between ethnic groups for all clinical outcomes (p > 0.05). There was a statistically significant longer adjusted length of stay (days) in non-Hispanics for two subcohorts: inpatient management (8.16 ± 0.31 vs. 9.72 ± 0.5, p < 0.01) and ICU admission without invasive ventilation (10.39 ± 0.57 vs. 13.45 ± 1.13, p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: For Hispanic and non-Hispanic COVID-19 patients in the ED or hospitalized, there were no statistically significant differences in imaging utilization and clinical outcomes.

PMID:34167069 | PMC:PMC8214936 | DOI:10.1016/j.clinimag.2021.06.018