Critical Care 2015, 19:347
Race has been identified as an important risk factor for the development of sepsis and as a predictor of poor outcomes in sepsis. For example, black individuals have been demonstrated to be nearly twice as likely to develop sepsis and to have greater mortality from sepsis than white individuals.
Recent data from a longitudinal cohort, which examined incident hospitalizations for infections occurring among participants in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort, contradicts this prior research. Investigators determined that black participants were significantly less likely than white participants to present to the hospital with either infection or sepsis.
Although these results are intriguing, they highlight our inadequate understanding of the relationship between race and sepsis and motivate the need for higher quality epidemiologic research to isolate the true role of race in the development of sepsis.