Racial or ethnic disparities in health care delivery and resource utilization have been reported in a variety of pediatric diseases. In acute pancreatitis (AP), there is an association between Black race and increased inpatient mortality. Data on the association of race and ethnicity and resource use for managing pediatric AP are lacking. The aim of this study is to investigate this potential association in pediatric AP.
Retrospective study of children 0–18 years diagnosed with AP in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) database from 2012 to 2018. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize cohort characteristics. Race/ethnicity classifications included non-Hispanic Black (NHB), non-Hispanic White (NHW, used as reference), Hispanic, and “Other.” Associations between patient characteristics and race/ethnicity were determined using χ2 tests. Generalized linear mixed regression model was used to determine the association of race/ethnicity with odds of resource utilization, costs, and length of hospital stay after adjusting for covariates with a random intercept for site.
Five thousand nine hundred sixty-three patients from 50 hospitals were included. Adjusted analysis showed that NHB children hospitalized with AP were at lower odds of receiving opioids in the first 24 hours [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.70–0.98] and receiving intravenous fluids during the hospitalization (aOR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.43–0.96) when compared with NHW children. Additionally, NHB and Hispanic children had a prolonged adjusted mean length of hospital stay and higher hospital costs when compared with NHW children. Although there was no significant association between race/ethnicity and diagnosis of pancreatic necrosis or sepsis, Hispanic and “Other” children were at higher odds of receiving antibiotics during hospitalization for AP (aOR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.13–1.57 and aOR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.09–1.73, respectively) than NHW children.
Disparities exist in utilization of health care interventions for pediatric AP patients by race/ethnicity. Future studies should investigate why these disparities exist and if these disparities affect outcomes.