- •African American patients may experience a higher rate of adverse events than Caucasian patients.
- •This racial discrepancy may be due to socioeconomic and psychosocial factors although the evidence is limited.
- •There are limited studies considering socioeconomic and psychosocial factors when examining racial disparities in adverse events.
- •This difference is not observed when comparing Hispanic and Caucasian patients.
- •Future research would benefit from standardized racial/ethnic terminology.
Studies have shown racial discrepancies in the rates of postoperative adverse events following bariatric surgery (BS). We aim to systematically review the literature examining racial disparities in postoperative adverse events.
PubMed, Embase, and SCOPUS databases were searched for studies that reported race, postoperative adverse events and/or length of stay.
Thirty-five studies were included. Most compared Black and White patients using standardized databases. Racial/ethnic terminology varied. The majority found increased 30-day mortality and morbidity and length of stay in Black relative to White patients. Differences between White and Hipanic patients were mostly non-significant in these outcomes.
Black patients may experience higher rates of adverse events than White patients within 30 days following bariatric surgery. Given the limitations in the large multicenter databases, explanations for this disparity were limited. Future research would benefit from longer-term studies that include more races and ethnicities and consider socioeconomic factors.
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Published online: July 26, 2021
Accepted: July 17, 2021
Received in revised form: June 23, 2021
Received: May 9, 2021
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