Black children were one-third more likely than white children to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix in 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
If not treated quickly, a ruptured appendix can cause life threatening complications. Ruptures may result when the warning signs of appendicitis are missed, leading to a delay in surgery to remove the infected appendix. In some cases, parents may not be able to get health care quickly enough.
The federal agency's analysis found that:
• The hospital admission rate of black children for a ruptured appendix in 2006 was 365 per 1,000 admissions, compared with 276 per 1,000 admissions for white children.
• Hispanic children had the second-highest rate, 344.5 per 1,000 admissions followed by Asian and Pacific Island children, at 329 per 1,000 admissions.
• Poverty played a role for all children, regardless of race or ethnicity. Children from poor communities were 26 percent more likely to be hospitalized for a ruptured appendix than those from higher-income communities (337 per 1,000 admissions compared with 268.5 per 1,000 admissions). At all income levels, Black and Hispanic children had higher ruptured appendix rates than white children.