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Distressed Communities Index Is Not Associated with Mortality for Critically Ill Surgical Patients with Sepsis

Chloe Williams, Whitney Kellett, Megan Ireland, Wendy Wahl, , Anahita Jalilvand
Published: 27 January 2023

Abstract:Background: The impact of socioeconomic metrics on outcomes after sepsis is unclear. The Distressed Communities Index (DCI) is a composite score quantifying socioeconomic well-being by zip code. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the association between DCI and mortality in patients with sepsis admitted to the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). Patients and Methods: All patients with sepsis admitted to the SICU (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [SOFA] score ≥2) were reviewed retrospectively. Composite DCI scores were obtained for each patient and classified into high-distress (DCI ≥75th percentile; n = 331) and control distress (DCI <50th percentile; n = 666) groups. Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics were compared between groups. The primary outcomes were in-hospital and 90-day mortality. Results: The high-distress cohort was younger and more likely to be African American (19.6% vs. 6.2%), transferred from an outside facility (52% vs. 42%), have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (25.1% vs. 18.8%), and baseline liver disease (8.2% vs. 4.2%). Sepsis presentation was comparable between groups. Compared with the control cohort, high-distress patients had similar in-house (23% vs. 24%) and 90-day mortality (30% vs. 28%) but were associated with longer hospital stay (23 vs. 19 days). High DCI failed to predict in-hospital or 90-day mortality but was an independent risk factor for longer hospital length of stay (odds ratio [OR], 2.83 ± 1.42; p = 0.047). Conclusions: High DCI was not associated with mortality but did independently predict longer length of stay. This may reflect limitations of DCI score in evaluating mortality for patients with sepsis. Future studies should elucidate its association with length of stay, re-admissions, and follow-up.
Keywords: sepsis / outcomes / socioeconomic status / SICU

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