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Social deprivation and outcomes in colorectal cancer

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The aim of this study was to examine the influence of social deprivation on postoperative mortality and length of stay in patients having surgery for colorectal cancer.


Data were extracted from the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland database of patients presenting between April 2001 and March 2002. The effect of social deprivation, measured by the Townsend score, on 30‐day postoperative mortality and length of stay was evaluated by two‐level hierarchical regression analysis.


A total of 7290 (86·8 per cent) patients underwent surgery. Operative mortality was 6·7 per cent and median length of stay 11 days. Deprivation indices were significantly higher in patients with Dukes' ‘D’ cancers, undergoing emergency surgery and with higher American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) grades (P < 0·005). Worsening deprivation was associated with higher operative mortality and longer stay (P = 0·014). For each unit increase in deprivation, there was 2·9 (95 per cent confidence interval 0·5 to 5·2) per cent increase in 30‐day mortality. On multifactorial analysis, social deprivation was an independent predictor of length of stay, but its effect on operative mortality was explained by differences in ASA grade, operative urgency and Dukes' classification.


Social deprivation was an independent risk factor of postoperative length of stay and associated with higher postoperative mortality. These results have important implications for risk modelling of postoperative outcomes. Copyright © 2006 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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