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Hospital epidemiology is not immune to inequity: Uncovering disparities in CLABSIs and CAUTIs

Reviewed by: Jen Cihlar, DO, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Disparities in medicine are long-standing, and racial disparities in hospital epidemiology are not immune from this problem. Gettler et al. retrospectively examine rates of CLABSI and CAUTI from a single academic medical center analyzed between January 1, 2018, and December 31,2021. Despite similar numbers of utilization of central lines and urinary catheters, CLABSI rates were found to be significantly higher for non-Hispanic Black patients (1.27; 95% CI, 1.02–1.58; P = .03) and patients in the Other race category (2.25; 95% CI, 1.31–3.88; P = .003) compared with non-Hispanic White patients. In a similar pattern, CAUTI rates were higher in non-Hispanic Black (1.42, 95% CI, 1.05–1.92; P = .02) and Asian patients (2.49, 95% CI, 1.16–5.36; P = .02) compared with non-Hispanic White patients. As these authors highlight, there are a multitude of factors contributing to this issue that need to be investigated and this study is important in raising to light the known disparities that are present in the sphere of hospital epidemiology.

Reference:
Gettler, E.B., Kalu, I.C., Okeke, N.L., Lewis, S.S., Anderson, D.J., Smith, B.A., Advani, S.D., 2023. Disparities in central line-associated bloodstream infection and catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates: An exploratory analysis. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 1–4.

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