Improvement of racial disparities with respect to the utilization of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy in the United States




Race represents an established barrier to health care access in the United States and elsewhere. We examined whether race affects the utilization rate of minimally invasive radical prostatectomy (MIRP) in a population-based sample of individuals from the United States.


Within the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), we focused on patients in whom MIRP and open radical prostatectomy (ORP) were performed between 2001 and 2007. We assessed the proportions and temporal trends in race distributions between MIRP and ORP. Multivariable logistic regression analyses further adjusted for age, year of surgery, baseline Charlson Comorbidity Index, annual hospital caseload tertiles, hospital region, insurance status, and median zip code income.


Of 65,148 radical prostatectomies, 3581 (5.5%) were MIRPs. African Americans accounted for 11.4% of patients versus 78.8% for Caucasians versus 9.9% for others. Between 2001 and 2007, the annual proportions of Caucasian patients treated with MIRP were 2.2%, 0.9%, 2.6%, 7.2%, 4.7%, 9.3%, and 11.6%, respectively (chi-square trend p<0.001). For the same years in African American patients, the proportions were 0.8, 0.3, 1.4, 4.4, 3.5, 9.0 and 8.4% (chi-square trend P < .001). In multivariable analyses relative to Caucasian patients, African American patients were 14% less likely to undergo MIRP (P = .01). After period stratification between years 2001-2005 versus 2006-2007, African Americans were 22% less likely to undergo a MIRP in the early period (P = .007) versus 11% less likely to have a MIRP in the contemporary period (P = .1).


The racial discrepancies in MIRP utilization rates are gradually improving. Cancer 2012;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.