-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Pedestrians hit by a motor
vehicle are much more likely to die if they're uninsured or a
member of a racial minority than their counterparts who are white
or insured, even if they sustain similar injuries, a new study
It also found that minority pedestrians are far more likely than
whites to be hit by a vehicle.
"It's a double whammy. Minorities are much more likely to get injured by this mechanism and much more likely to die by this mechanism," senior study author Dr. Adil H. Haider, an assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
The researchers analyzed National Trauma Data Bank information
on 26,404 people hit by vehicles between 2002 and 2006. Compared to
white patients involved in similar crashes, the risk of death was
significantly higher for minorities -- 22 percent greater for
blacks and 33 percent higher for Hispanics, although they were all
treated in emergency rooms.
Uninsured pedestrian victims were 77 percent more likely to die
than those with insurance.
The higher death rates among the uninsured and minorities aren't
due to greater rates of injury, the researchers stressed.
"Do we treat minorities and the uninsured differently? I don't think so, but we've got to ask the question. We don't actually know what is leading to these disparities," Haider said.
Earlier research has shown that insurance status and race may
increase the risk of death due to delays in treatment or unequal
In this study, researchers suggested that higher rates of -- or
lack of treatment for -- health problems such as obesity, diabetes
and hypertension may increase the risk of death among injured
minority or uninsured pedestrian victims.
The study appears in the August issue of the journal
The American College of Emergency Physicians has more about
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