Patients in low-income countries have greater risk of dying after emergency surgery

Patients undergoing emergency surgery in lower income countries are three times more likely to die than patients undergoing similar surgeries in higher income nations, according to research published in the British Journal of Surgery.

Researchers examined post-surgery death rates in 58 countries, following 10,745 patients for up to 30 days after they underwent emergency abdominal surgery, and mapped it against the Human Development Index of each country.

After adjusting for patient-specific factors, the researchers found death rates to be three times higher in poorer countries than richer ones.

"The association between increasingly [sic] mortality and lower income countries might be explained by differences in prognosis, in treatment or maybe both," said Aneel Bhangu, one of the researchers. "What we can say is that our study highlights the significant disparity between countries, and an urgent need to address it."

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