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Blacks Less Likely to Undergo Angioplasty for MI

Study authors urge further research into the causes behind the racial disparity

WEDNESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with acute myocardial infarction are less likely than other patients to undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study in U.S. veterans presented recently at the American Heart Association's 7th Scientific Forum on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Washington, D.C.

Anne Sales, Ph.D., of the VA Puget Sound Health Center Service in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a one-year study of 680 black and 3,529 white veterans.

The researchers found that 75 percent of the black patients were admitted to VA medical centers that performed PCI compared to 54 percent of whites. But 10 percent of black patients admitted to such centers underwent PCI within 12 hours of admission compared to 14 percent of whites.

Cardiac catheterization rates in such centers were similar (61 percent of blacks versus 64 percent of whites), but the 30-day PCI rate was 49 percent in blacks compared to 56 percent in whites. Among patients admitted to hospitals without PCI capability, cardiac catheterization rates were similar (51 percent versus 49 percent), but the 30-day PCI rate was 48 percent in blacks compared to 65 percent in whites. After adjusting for significant predictors of PCI, the researchers found that blacks were 22 percent less likely to undergo PCI.

"Further research is needed to understand the sources of disparate treatment," the authors conclude.

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