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February 5, 2003

Racial Differences in Rates of Traumatic Lumbar Puncture

JAMA. 2003;289(5):548. doi:10.1001/jama.289.5.548

In Reply: Dr Vachon suggests that unequal medical care, rather than anatomic variations in bone structure, explains the higher risk for traumatic LP in black children. Indeed, inadequate access to health care and a poor socioeconomic status are known risk factors for inferior clinical outcomes among underprivileged groups in many settings.1,2 We have observed more pronounced lumbar lordosis in black compared with white children during our practice and believe that its relationship to traumatic or bloody LPs warrants closer study.

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