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Socioeconomic status and risk of intensive care unit admission with sepsis

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Background: A recent study showed higher risk of bacteremia among individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES). We hypothesized that patients with a low SES have a higher risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission with sepsis compared to patients with higher SES. Methods: This was a case–control study on patients with sepsis admitted to the ICU at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark (2008–2010). Three hundred eighty-three sepsis patients were matched on sex, age, and zip code with controls retrieved from the background population. SES was defined as highest accomplished educational level, yearly income, cohabitation status, and occupation. The odds ratio (OR) of being admitted with sepsis to the ICU was calculated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for the Charlson Comorbidity Index and the remaining socioeconomic variables. Results: The adjusted odds of being admitted to the ICU with sepsis were significantly higher among individuals living alone (OR 1.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.33–2.24, P < 0.001) compared to individuals living with a cohabitant. Individuals outside the labor force had an adjusted OR of 3.50 (CI 2.36–5.18, P < 0.001) compared to individuals in the labor force. Individuals with a medium level of education had an increased risk of admission to the ICU with sepsis compared to a high level of education (adjusted OR 1.43, CI 1.02–2.00, P = 0.04). There was no significant association between income and risk of ICU admission with sepsis after adjustment. Conclusion: Individuals living alone, being outside the labor force, or having a medium level of education had significantly higher risk of ICU admission with sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Volume62
Issue7
Pages (from-to)983-992
Number of pages10
ISSN0001-5172
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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