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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011, Article ID 370962, 9 pages
Research Article

Ethnicity and Race Variations in Receipt of Surgery among Veterans with and without Depression

1Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, Research Service, Temple, TX 76502, USA
2Center for Applied Health Research, Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, TX 76504, USA
3VERDICT Research, South Texas Veterans Health Care System, 7400 Merton Minter (11c6), San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
4Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and of Medicine-Epidemiology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

Received 16 March 2011; Revised 19 July 2011; Accepted 31 July 2011

Academic Editor: Alejandro Interian

Copyright © 2011 Laurel A. Copeland et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To examine equity in one aspect of care provision in the Veterans Health Administration, this study analyzed factors associated with receipt of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), vascular, hip/knee, or digestive system surgeries during FY2006–2009. A random sample of patients ( ) included 9% with depression, 17% African-American patients, 5% Hispanics, and 5% women. In the four-year followup, 18,334 patients (6%) experienced surgery: 3,109 hip/knee, 3,755 digestive, 1,899 CABG, and 11,330 vascular operations. Patients with preexisting depression were less likely to have surgery than nondepressed patients (4% versus 6%). In covariate-adjusted analyses, minority patients were slightly less likely to receive vascular operations compared to white patients (Hispanic , ; African-American , ) but more likely to undergo digestive system procedures. Some race-/ethnicity-related disparities of care for cardiovascular disease may persist for veterans using the VHA.