HealthDay/Washington Post, September 30, 2008
Elderly Americans who live in low-income ZIP codes are more likely to die after surgery than those who live in higher-income ZIP codes, according to a study analyzing death rates among more than one million older adults who had one of six common high-risk heart or cancer surgeries. The risk of death was between 17% and 39% higher for patients in low-income ZIP codes, mainly because the quality of care is lower at hospitals in lower socioeconomic areas, according to the study authors.
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