What are the race-related demographics of sepsis and septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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With regard to ethnicity, one large epidemiologic study showed that the risk of septicemia in the nonwhite population is almost twice that in the white population, with the highest risk accruing to black men. [41] Potential reasons for this difference include issues relating to decreased access to health care and increased prevalence of underlying medical conditions.

Another large epidemiologic study tied the increased incidence in the black population to increased rates of infection necessitating hospitalization and increased development of organ dysfunction. [46] In this study, black patients with septic shock had a higher incidence of underlying diabetes and renal disease, which may explain the higher rates of infection. However, development of acute organ dysfunction was independent of comorbidities. [46]

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