Racial disparities in survival among injured drivers.

Document Type


Publication Date



Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

American journal of epidemiology

MeSH Headings

Accidents, Traffic, Adolescent, Adult, African Americans, Aged, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Health Status Disparities, Hispanic Americans, Hospitalization, Humans, Logistic Models, Male, Middle Aged, Mortality, Odds Ratio, Risk Factors, Survival, Trauma Severity Indices, Wounds and Injuries


Prior studies on racial and ethnic disparities in survival after motor vehicle crashes have examined only population-based death rates or have been restricted to hospitalized patients. In the current study, we examined 3 components of crash survival by race/ethnicity: survival overall, survival to reach a hospital, and survival among those hospitalized. Nine years of data (from 2000 through 2008) from the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System were used to examine white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic drivers aged ≥ 15 years with serious injuries (injury severity scores of ≥ 9). By using multivariable logistic regression, we found that a driver's race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with overall survival after being injured in a crash (for blacks, odds ratio (OR) = 0.69, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.36, 1.32; for Hispanics, OR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.59, 1.72), and blacks and Hispanics were equally likely to survive to be treated at a hospital compared with whites (for blacks, OR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.52, 1.93; for Hispanics, OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.71, 1.79). However, among patients who were treated at a hospital, blacks were 50% less likely to survive 30 days compared with whites (OR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.76). The disparity in survival after serious traffic injuries among blacks appears to occur after hospitalization, not in prehospital survival.



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