Health Disparities and Sepsis: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis on the Influence of Race on Sepsis-Related Mortality

Panagis Galiatsatos, Junfeng Sun, Judith Welsh, Anthony Suffredini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Rationale: Racial disparities in sepsis outcomes have been previously reported. However, recently, there have been inconsistencies in identifying which socioeconomic variables, such as race, account for these disparities. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review in order to examine the impact of race on sepsis-attributable mortality. Methods: Systematic searches for English-language articles identified through MEDLINE, EBSCOhost, PubMed, ERIC, and Cochrane Library databases from 1960 to 1 February 2017. Included studies examined sepsis outcomes in the context of sepsis incidence and/or mortality. Two investigators independently extracted data and assessed study quality. The meta-analysis was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. Results: Twenty-one studies adhered to the predefined selection criteria and were included in the review. Of the 21 studies, we pooled data from 6 studies comparing African American/Black race as a risk factor for sepsis-related mortality disparities (reference group being Caucasian/White). From the meta-analysis on these six studies, African American/Black race was found to have no statistical significant relationship with sepsis-related mortality (odds ratio 1.20, 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.77). Similar results were found for other races (Native Americans, Asians) and ethnicities (Hispanic/Latinos). Conclusion: On the basis of available evidence from a limited number of observation retrospective studies, race alone cannot fully explain sepsis-related disparities, especially sepsis-attributable mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-908
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Mortality
  • Race
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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