(HealthDay News) — Race-specific models more accurately predict risk of death after surgery for pediatric patients, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Pediatrics.

Oguz Akbilgic, PhD, from the University of Tennessee in Memphis, and colleagues analyzed variables predicting death within 30 days of surgery for both African-American and white children using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric Participant Use Data File.

The researchers found that the prevalence of preoperative risk factors associated with death after surgery was significantly higher for African-American children vs white children. Furthermore, many of these risk factors carried a higher risk when they occurred in African-American children. Race-specific models of risk of death after surgery were highly accurate, yet models for African-American children and white children were significantly different from each other.

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“Race-specific models predict outcomes after surgery more accurately compared with non-race-specific models,” the authors write. “Identification of race-specific modifiable risk factors may help reduce racial disparities in surgery outcome.”


  1. Akbilgic O, Langham MR, Davis RL. Race, preoperative risk factors, and death after surgery. Pediatrics. Jan 2018. doi: 10.1542/ped.2017-2221