To determine whether patients with ureteral stones received different standard of care in the emergency department (ED) according to various sociodemographic factors. We conducted a retrospective study of patients presenting to EDs in a large tertiary-care hospital in the Bronx, New York with a diagnosis of ureteral stones. Electronic chart review was used to assess each patient’s ED course and to gather socio-demographic information. The primary outcomes of interest were administration of pain medication, prescription of alpha-1 antagonists to facilitate stone passage, and whether or not patients received CT scan or ultrasound. Associations of these outcomes with age categories, sex, race/ethnicity, BMI category, socioeconomic status and insurance status were examined using multivariate logistic regression models. 1200 patients were included in this analysis of which 616 (51%) were women. A large proportion of patients were minorities: 40% Hispanic, 15% non-Hispanic Black, and 20% other/multiracial. Patients aged 55–64 years and those 65 or older were less likely to receive pain medication compared to patients < 35 years (OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.27–0.86, p = 0.01 and OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.21–1.00, p = 0.05, respectively). Women were less likely than men to undergo any form of diagnostic imaging (OR = 0.52, 95% CI 0.35–0.76, p = 0.001). Similarly, patients in the lowest quintile of SES received less imaging than patients in the highest SES group (OR = 0.50, 95% CI 0.27–0.90, p = 0.02). Finally, women were less likely to receive alpha blockade compared to men (OR = 0.68, 95% CI 0.49–0.92, p = 0.014). Multiple disparities exist among patients presenting to the emergency department for ureteral stones.
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