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Worldwide surgery rates tied to economic status

HealthDay/Washington Post, June 26, 2008
About 234 million major surgeries are performed worldwide each year, and surgery rates are much higher in high-income countries than in low-income countries, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The rate of major surgeries was 37 times higher in countries that spend more than $1,000 per person on healthcare than in countries that spend less than $100 per person on healthcare. Researchers also examined surgical safety, and found 7 million patients a year suffer complications following surgery. Half of these complications are likely preventable, said the study authors.