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Pediatric Cushing disease: disparities in disease severity and outcomes in the Hispanic and African-American populations.


BackgroundLittle is known about the contribution of racial and socioeconomic disparities to severity and outcomes in children with Cushing disease (CD).MethodsA total of 129 children with CD, 45 Hispanic/Latino or African-American (HI/AA) and 84 non-Hispanic White (non-HW), were included in this study. A 10-point index for rating severity (CD severity) incorporated the degree of hypercortisolemia, glucose tolerance, hypertension, anthropomorphic measurements, disease duration, and tumor characteristics. Race, ethnicity, age, gender, local obesity prevalence, estimated median income, and access to care were assessed in regression analyses of CD severity.ResultsThe mean CD severity in the HI/AA group was worse than that in the non-HW group (4.9±2.0 vs. 4.1±1.9, P=0.023); driving factors included higher cortisol levels and larger tumor size. Multiple regression models confirmed that race (P=0.027) and older age (P=0.014) were the most important predictors of worse CD severity. When followed up a median of 2.3 years after surgery, the relative risk for persistent CD combined with recurrence was 2.8 times higher in the HI/AA group compared with that in the non-HW group (95% confidence interval: 1.2-6.5).ConclusionOur data show that the driving forces for the discrepancy in severity of CD are older age and race/ethnicity. Importantly, the risk for persistent and recurrent CD was higher in minority children.

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