Hispanic Heart Patients Better Off

VA study finds they have better survival rates than whites or blacks

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TUESDAY, Oct. 14, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Hispanic heart patients have better survival rates than black or white patients, says new research.

The study, published in the Oct. 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at more than 47,000 patients at two Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers over 12 years. Its findings support previous research showing that minority patients have better outcomes at VA hospitals than at private hospitals.

The VA researchers compared the long-term survival of Hispanic, black and white veterans referred for electrocardgiograms (EKGs) or exercise tests at the Long Beach and Palo Alto VA medical centers from 1987 to 2000.

Among those referred for exercise testing, 3.4 percent of whites, 2.9 percent of blacks and 2.2 percent of Hispanics died during the 12 years of the study.

After the researchers made adjustments for age and cardiac health status, they concluded Hispanics were about 80 percent as likely as whites or blacks to die over the course of the study. There was no difference between black and white survival rates.

Strong social support was listed as a possible factor for the apparent survival advantage of Hispanic VA patients compared to black and white patients.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about cardiovascular disease.

SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, news release, Oct. 13, 2003

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