The fluctuating incidence, improved survival of patients with breast cancer, and disparities by age, race, and socioeconomic status by decade, 1981-2010.


PURPOSE:
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. However, the data on breast cancer incidence and survival over a long period, especially the dynamic changes in the role of race and socioeconomic status (SES), are scant.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
To evaluate treatment outcomes of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades, the data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registries were used to assess the survival of patients with breast cancer. Period analysis was used to analyze the incidence and survival trend; survival was evaluated by the relative survival rates (RSRs) and Kaplan-Meier analyses. The HRs for age, race, stage, and SES were assessed by Cox regression.

RESULTS:
A total of 433,366 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 1981 and 2010 were identified from the original nine SEER registries. The incidences of breast cancer in each decade were 107.1 per 100,000, 117.5 per 100,000, and 109.8 per 100,000. The 10-year RSRs improved each decade, from 70.8% to 81.5% to 85.6% (P<0.0001). The lower survival in black race and high-poverty group is confirmed by Kaplan-Meier analyses and RSRs. Furthermore, Cox regression analyses demonstrated that age, race, SES, and stage are independent risk factors for patients with breast cancer in each decade.

CONCLUSION:
The current data demonstrated a fluctuating incidence trend with improving survival rates of patients with breast cancer over the past 3 decades. In addition, the survival disparity exists among different races, ages, SESs, and stages.

Factors contributing to disparities in mortality among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.


Historically, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who are non-white, have low incomes, low educational attainment, and non-private insurance have worse survival. We assessed whether differences in survival were attributable to sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics at diagnosis, or treatments received. We surveyed a multiregional cohort of patients diagnosed with NSCLC from 2003 to 2005 and followed through 2012. We used Cox proportional hazard analyses to estimate the risk of death associated with race/ethnicity, annual income, educational attainment, and insurance status, unadjusted and sequentially adjusting for sociodemographic factors, clinical characteristics, and receipt of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Of 3250 patients, 64% were white, 16% black, 7% Hispanic, and 7% Asian; 36% of patients had incomes <$20 000/y; 23% had not completed high school; and 74% had non-private insurance. In unadjusted analyses, black race, Hispanic ethnicity, income <$60 000/y, not attending college, and not having private insurance were all associated with an increased risk of mortality. Black-white differences were not statistically significant after adjustment for sociodemographic factors, although patients with patients without a high school diploma and patients with incomes <$40 000/y continued to have an increased risk of mortality. Differences by educational attainment were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics. Differences by income were not statistically significant after adjustment for clinical characteristics and treatments. Clinical characteristics and treatments received primarily contributed to mortality disparities by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status in patients with NSCLC. Additional efforts are needed to assure timely diagnosis and use of effective treatment to lessen these disparities.

The Coming Hip and Femur Fracture Bundle: A New Inpatient Risk Stratification Tool for Care Providers.


INTRODUCTION:
In response to increasing health-care costs, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has initiated several programs to transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model. One such voluntary program is Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) which includes all hip and femur fractures that undergo operative fixation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the current cost and resource utilization of operatively fixed (nonarthroplasty) hip and femur fracture procedure bundle patients at a single level 1 trauma center within the framework of a risk stratification tool (Score for Trauma Triage in the Geriatric and Middle-Aged [STTGMA]) to identify areas of high utilization before our hospitals transition to bundle period.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A cohort of Medicare-eligible patients discharged with the Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) codes 480 to 482 (hip and femur fractures requiring surgical fixation) from a level 1 trauma center between October 2014 and September 2016 was evaluated and assigned a trauma triage risk score (STTGMA score). Patients were stratified into groups based on these scores to create a minimal-, low-, moderate-, and high-risk cohort. Length of stay (LOS), discharge location, need for Intensive Care Unit (ICU)/Step Down Unit (SDU) care, inpatient complications, readmission within 90 days, and inpatient admission costs were recorded.

RESULTS:
One hundred seventy-three patients with a mean age of 81.5 (10.1) years met inclusion criteria. The mean LOS was 8.0 (4.2) days, with high-risk patients having 4 days greater LOS than lower risk patients. The mean number of total complications was 0.9 (0.8) with a significant difference between risk groups (P = .029). The mean total cost of admission for the entire cohort of patients was US$25,446 (US$9725), with a nearly US$9000 greater cost for high-risk patients compared to the low-risk patients. High-cost areas of care included room/board, procedure, and radiology.

DISCUSSION:
High-risk patients were more likely to have longer and more costly admissions with average index admission costs nearly US$9000 more than the lower risk patient cohorts. These high-risk patients were also more likely to develop inpatient complications and require higher levels of care.

CONCLUSION:
This analysis of a 2-year cohort of patients who would qualify for the BPCI Advanced hip and femur procedure bundle demonstrates that the STTGMA tool can be used to identify high-risk patients who fall outside the bundle.

Global Unmet Needs in Cardiac Surgery.


More than 6 billion people live outside industrialized countries and have insufficient access to cardiac surgery. Given the recently confirmed high prevailing mortality for rheumatic heart disease in many of these countries together with increasing numbers of patients needing interventions for lifestyle diseases due to an accelerating epidemiological transition, a significant need for cardiac surgery could be assumed. Yet, need estimates were largely based on extrapolated screening studies while true service levels remained unknown. A multi-author effort representing 16 high-, middle-, and low-income countries was undertaken to narrow the need assessment for cardiac surgery including rheumatic and lifestyle cardiac diseases as well as congenital heart disease on the basis of existing data deduction. Actual levels of cardiac surgery were determined in each of these countries on the basis of questionnaires, national databases, or annual reports of national societies. Need estimates range from 200 operations per million in low-income countries that are nonendemic for rheumatic heart disease to >1,000 operations per million in high-income countries representing the end of the epidemiological transition. Actually provided levels of cardiac surgery range from 0.5 per million in the assessed low- and lower-middle income countries (average 107 ± 113 per million; representing a population of 1.6 billion) to 500 in the upper-middle-income countries (average 270 ± 163 per million representing a population of 1.9 billion). By combining need estimates with the assessment of de facto provided levels of cardiac surgery, it emerged that a significant degree of underdelivery of often lifesaving open heart surgery does not only prevail in low-income countries but is also disturbingly high in middle-income countries.

Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Clinical Outcomes with Ventricular Assist Devices.


Lower socioeconomic status (SES) is a known risk factor for worse outcomes after major cardiovascular interventions. Furthermore, individuals with lower SES face barriers to evaluation for advanced heart failure therapies, including ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation.Examination of the effects of individual determinants of SES on VAD outcomes will show similar survival benefit in patients with lower compared with higher SES.All VAD implants at the University of Florida from January 2008 through December 2015 were reviewed. Patient-level determinants of SES included place of residence, education level, marital status, insurance status, and financial resources stratified by percent federal poverty level. Survival or transplantation at 1 year, 30-day readmission, implant length of stay (LOS), and an aggregate of VAD-related complications were assessed in univariate fashion and multivariable regression modelling.A total of 111 patients were included (mean age at time of implant 57.6 years, 82.8% men). More than half received destination therapy. At 1 year, 78.3% were alive on device support or had undergone successful transplantation. There were no differences in survival, 30-day readmission, or aggregate VAD complications by SES category. Although patients with lower levels of education had longer LOS in univariate analysis, on multivariable ordinal regression modelling, this relationship was no longer seen.Patients with lower SES receive the same survival benefit from VAD implantation and are not more likely to have 30-day readmissions, complications of device support, or prolonged implant LOS. Therefore, VAD implantation should not be withheld based on these parameters alone.

Disparate outcomes of global emergency surgery – A matched comparison of patients in developed and under-developed healthcare settings.


Access to surgical care is an essential element of health-systems strengthening. This study aims to compare two diverse healthcare settings in South Asia and the United States (US).Patients at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Pakistan were matched to patients captured in the US Nationwide Inpatient Sample (US-NIS) from 2009 to 2011. Risk-adjusted differences in mortality, major morbidity, and LOS were compared using logistic and generalized-linear (family gamma, link log) models after coarsened-exact matching.A total of 2,244,486 patients (n?=?4867 AKUH; n?=?2,239,619 US-NIS) were included. Of those in the US-NIS, 990,963 (42.5%) were treated at urban-teaching hospitals, 332,568 (14.3%) in rural locations. Risk-adjusted odds of reported mortality were higher for Pakistani patients (OR[95%CI]: 3.80[2.68-5.37]), while odds of reported complications were lower (OR[95%CI]: 0.56[0.48-0.65]). No differences were observed in LOS. The difference in outcomes was less pronounced when comparing Pakistani patients to American rural patients.These results demonstrate significant reported morbidity, mortality differences between healthcare systems. Comparative assessments such as this will inform global health policy development and support.

Global Surgery: Effective Involvement of US Academic Surgery: Report of the American Surgical Association Working Group on Global Surgery.


There is an unacceptably high burden of death and disability from conditions that are treatable by surgery, worldwide and especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The major actions to improve this situation need to be taken by the surgical communities, institutions, and governments of the LMICs. The US surgical community, including the US academic surgical community, has, however, important roles to play in addressing this problem. The American Surgical Association convened a Working Group to address how US academic surgery can most effectively decrease the burden from surgically treatable conditions in LMICs. The Working Group believes that the task will be most successful (1) if the epidemiologic pattern in a given country is taken into account by focusing on those surgically treatable conditions with the highest burdens; (2) if emphasis is placed on those surgical services that are most cost-effective and most feasible to scale up; and (3) if efforts are harmonized with local priorities and with existing global initiatives, such as the World Health Assembly with its 2015 resolution on essential surgery. This consensus statement gives recommendations on how to achieve those goals through the tools of academic surgery: clinical care, training and capacity building, research, and advocacy. Through all of these, the ethical principles of maximally and transparently engaging with and deferring to the interests and needs of local surgeons and their patients are of paramount importance. Notable benefits accrue to US surgeons, trainees, and institutions that engage in global surgical activities.

Appendicitis: Rural Patient Status is Associated with Increased Duration of Prehospital Symptoms and Worse Outcomes in High- and Low-Middle-Income Countries.


Introduction
Appendicitis is a significant economic and healthcare burden in low-, middle-, and high-income countries. We aimed to determine whether urban and rural patient status would affect outcomes in appendicitis in a combined population regardless of country of economic status. We hypothesize that patients from rural areas and both high- and low-middle-income countries would have disproportionate outcomes and duration of symptoms compared to their urban counterparts.

Methods
Adults (≥18 years) with appendicitis during 2010–2016 in South Africa and USA were reviewed using multi-institutional data. Baseline demographic, operative details, durations of stay, and complications (Clavien–Dindo index) were collected. AAST grades were assigned by two independent reviewers based on operative findings. Summary, univariate, and multivariable analyses of rural and urban patients in both countries were performed.

Results
There were 2602 patients with a median interquartile range [IQR] of 26 [18–40] years; 45% were female. Initial management included McBurney incisions (n = 458, 18%), laparotomy (n = 915, 35%), laparoscopic appendectomy (n = 1185, 45%), and laparoscopy converted to laparotomy (n = 44, 2%). Comparing rural versus urban patient status, there were increased overall median [IQR] AAST grades (3 [1–5] vs. 2 [1–3], p = 0.001), prehospital duration of symptoms (2 [1–5] vs. 2 [1–3], p = 0.001), complications (44.3 vs. 23%, p = 0.001), and need for temporary abdominal closure (20.3 vs. 6.9%, p = 0.001).

Conclusion
Despite socioeconomic status and country of origin, patients from more rural environments demonstrate poorer outcomes notwithstanding significant differences in overall disease severity. The AAST grading system may serve a potential benchmark to recognize areas with disparate disease burdens. This information could be used for strategic improvements for surgeon placement and availability.