Impact of health disparities on treatment for single-suture craniosynostosis in an era of multimodal care.

TitleImpact of health disparities on treatment for single-suture craniosynostosis in an era of multimodal care.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHoffman C, Valenti AB, Odigie E, Warren K, Premaratne ID, Imahiyerobo TA
JournalNeurosurg Focus
Date Published2021 Apr

Craniosynostosis is the premature fusion of the skull. There are two forms of treatment: open surgery and minimally invasive endoscope-assisted suturectomy. Candidates for endoscopic treatment are less than 6 months of age. The techniques are equally effective; however, endoscopic surgery is associated with less blood loss, minimal tissue disruption, shorter operative time, and shorter hospitalization.

In this study, the authors aimed to evaluate the impact of race/ethnicity and insurance status on age of presentation/surgery in children with craniosynostosis to highlight potential disparities in healthcare access. Charts were reviewed for children with craniosynostosis at two tertiary care hospitals in New York City from January 1, 2014, to August 31, 2020. Clinical and demographic data were collected, including variables pertaining to family socioeconomic status, home address/zip code, insurance status (no insurance, Medicaid, or private), race/ethnicity, age and date of presentation for initial consultation, type of surgery performed, and details of hospitalization. Children with unknown race/ethnicity and those with syndromic craniosynostosis were excluded.

The data were analyzed via t-tests and chi-square tests for statistical significance (p < 0.05). A total of 121 children were identified; 62 surgeries were performed open and 59 endoscopically. The mean age at initial presentation of the cohort was 6.68 months, and on the day of surgery it was 8.45 months. Age at presentation for the open surgery cohort compared with the endoscopic cohort achieved statistical significance at 11.33 months (SD 12.41) for the open cohort and 1.86 months (SD 1.1473) for the endoscopic cohort (p < 0.0001). Age on the day of surgery for the open cohort versus the endoscopic cohort demonstrated statistical significance at 14.19 months (SD 15.05) and 2.58 months (SD 1.030), respectively. A statistically significant difference between the two groups was noted with regard to insurance status (p = 0.0044); the open surgical group comprised more patients without insurance and with Medicaid compared with the endoscopic group. The racial composition of the two groups reached statistical significance when comparing proportions of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and other (p = 0.000815), with significantly more Black and Hispanic patients treated in the open surgical group. The results demonstrate a relationship between race and lack of insurance or Medicaid status, and type of surgery received; Black and Hispanic children and children with Medicaid were more likely to present later and undergo open surgery.

Alternate JournalNeurosurg Focus
PubMed ID33794493