J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2020 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s40615-020-00875-8. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to present contemporary national data on the state of racial and ethnic disparities pertaining to primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in the USA.
METHODS: The 2011-2017 National Surgical Quality Improvement Program was used to capture all patients who underwent primary TKA. The study outcomes were differences in demographic, comorbidity burden, perioperative factors, procedure utilization, hospital length of stay (LOS), and 30-day outcomes. The five major minority groups as defined by the National Institutes of Health were compared to non-Hispanic Whites.
RESULTS: In total, 262,954 patient records were analyzed, with racial identification available on 230,712 patients (87.7%). White patients accounted for 72.5% of all TKA procedures. There were higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, anemia, and prolonged surgery times among racial and ethnic minorities (p < 0.001). Baseline disparities were especially pronounced among non-Hispanic Blacks/African Americans who were also like to have higher rates of tobacco smoking and CHF (p < 0.001). After controlling for baseline differences, significant disparities in outcomes persisted, especially among Blacks/African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos who had higher odds for experiencing complications and readmissions (p < 0.001). All racial and ethnic groups, except Asians, had longer LOS (p < 0.001). Asian patients had significantly lower rates of readmissions, reoperations, and overall complications (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Racial and ethnic disparities remain a public health challenge for patients undergoing TKA. While initiatives aimed at improving preoperative disease-burden and comorbidity profiles represent an important step, they alone are insufficient to fully account for or eliminate the disparities in TKA outcomes.