Socioeconomic Inequalities in the Utilization of Colorectal Stents for the Treatment of Malignant Bowel Obstruction

Philip N. Okafor, Derrick J. Stobaugh, Louis M. Wong Kee Song, Paul John Limburg, Jayant A. Talwalkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Colorectal stents are increasingly employed as a bridge to surgery or for palliative relief of malignant large bowel obstruction. Aim: To explore determinants of inpatient colorectal stent utilization (CRSU). Methods: An analysis of the 2012 National Inpatient Sample was performed. International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision, codes were used to identify discharges associated with CRSU and patient/hospital factors for inclusion in a logistic regression model. Results: We identified 217,055 inpatient colonoscopies, approximating 1.1 million inpatient colonoscopies nationwide. Colorectal stents were placed in 1.4 % of all procedures. Across all racial groups, Medicare was the most common payer. Patients with commercial insurance had lower CRSU compared with Medicare patients [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.83, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.75–0.92]. No gender disparities were identified (OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.89–1.03). In addition, no racial differences in CRSU existed between Caucasians versus African-Americans (OR 0.94, 95 % CI 0.83–1.06) and Caucasians versus Hispanics (OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.83–1.1). Compared with patients living in less affluent neighborhoods, those residing in more affluent areas had higher CRSU (OR 1.65, 95 % CI 1.46–1.86). This displayed a linear relationship with the odds of CRSU increasing as household income increased. Less affluent patients also had the highest total charges and longest wait time to CRSU. CRSU was highest among patients treated in larger medical centers (OR 1.7, 95 % CI 1.51–1.93) and teaching hospitals (OR 3.9, 95 % CI 3.2–4.8). Conclusion: Individuals from less affluent neighborhoods have lower colorectal stent utilization. This disparity is independent of race and likely related to poorer access to healthcare resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 6 2016


  • Disparities
  • Healthcare resource utilization
  • Palliative endoscopy
  • Self-expanding metal stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology


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