Blacks less likely to get heart procedures

June 14, 2007 at 8:06 AM
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IOWA CITY, Iowa, June 14 (UPI) -- Black Medicare patients are less likely than white patients to undergo heart procedures such as angioplasty following a heart attack, says a U.S. study.

Dr. Ioana Popescu, of the VA Medical Center and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and colleagues assessed racial differences in patterns of care and risk of death for heart attack patients who were admitted to hospitals with and without revascularization services.

The study included 1.2 million black and white Medicare beneficiaries ages 68 and older, admitted for a heart attack between January 2000 and June 2005 to 4,627 U.S. hospitals with and without revascularization services.

Black patients admitted to hospitals with or without revascularization services were about 30 percent less likely to undergo revascularization than white patients, according to the study published Journal of the American Medical Association.

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