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Examination of racial differences in management of cardiovascular disease.

Ferguson JA, Tierney WM, Westmoreland GR, Mamlin LA, Segar DS, Eckert GJ, Zhou XH, Martin DK, Weinberger M. Examination of racial differences in management of cardiovascular disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 1997 Dec 1; 30(7):1707-13.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: We sought to identify the clinical characteristics associated with, and to investigate the impact of cohort selection criteria on, interracial use of invasive cardiac procedures and to determine survival. BACKGROUND: Although interracial differences in the use of invasive cardiac procedures have been previously reported, the underlying reasons are not known. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Study patients were evaluated for cardiovascular disease between January 1 and December 31, 1993. RESULTS: The study included 1,406 male patients (85% white, 58% married), with a mean age of 63.4 years. African Americans were less likely than whites to undergo procedures (cardiac catheterization: odds ratio [OR] 0.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.24 to 0.58; coronary angioplasty: OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.25 to 1.49; coronary bypass surgery: OR 0.22, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.63; any procedure: OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.50). On bivariate analysis, patients who underwent cardiac procedures were more likely to be younger, married and reside nonlocally and less likely to have severe comorbid disease; however, African Americans were less likely to be married and to reside nonlocally and more likely to have severe comorbid disease. Cohorts adjusting for referral status and specified cardiac diagnoses reduced or reversed interracial treatment differences. Thirty-day and 1-year survival rates (96% and 87.6%, respectively) were equivalent. CONCLUSIONS: Racial disparity in invasive cardiac procedure use may be partially explained by clinical differences and cohort selection bias. Despite treatment differences, survival rates were equivalent in African Americans and whites.





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