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Black Men Have Less Coronary Obstruction Than Whites

Paradoxically, they have higher coronary disease mortality risk

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans have less coronary obstruction than their white counterparts, despite the fact that they have higher coronary disease mortality risk, according to a study published in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiologists.

Jeff Whittle, M.D., M.P.H., of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues used chart review and patient interview data on 52 blacks and 259 white male veterans who had had both a positive nuclear perfusion imaging study and coronary angiography within the past 90 days. They collected data on demographics, clinical characteristics and coronary anatomy results. The patients' physicians were asked to estimate the likelihood of coronary obstruction prior to angiography.

Physicians' estimates were similar for both black and white patients: 79.5 percent and 83 percent, respectively. However, black patients were less likely to have coronary obstruction. The condition affected 63.5 percent of black patients versus 76.5 percent of whites. Blacks also had significantly less severe coronary disease.

"Further studies are required to confirm our findings and better understand the paradox that [black Americans] are less likely to have obstructive coronary disease and more likely to suffer mortality from coronary disease," the authors conclude.

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