Black residents more likely to develop bedsores

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Black residents of nursing homes are more likely to develop bedsores than their white peers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed the rate of pressure ulcers developed among 1,938 residents newly admitted to nursing homes. The study reviewed the medical records of 301 black and 1637 white residents 65 years of age or older. The team identified the first occurrence of a bedsore. Out of 450 residents who developed bedsores, 341 were white and 109 were black.

The researchers then conducted analyses to factor in eight resident characteristics (age, sex, number of activities of daily living dependencies, being bedridden, pressure ulcer on admission, incontinence, dementia and Medicaid status) and three facility characteristics (number of beds, for-profit ownership status and urban/non-urban location).

Race was significantly associated with the development of a pressure ulcer, according to this study. Blacks had a 31% higher risk compared with whites.

Differences in facility did not seem to explain the findings, according to the study.

The researchers suggest following up this study by trying to identify modifiable factors that could explain bedsore-risk differences between racial groups, as well as develop ways to prevent the associated cost and suffering of bedsores.