March 13, 2006
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
Phone: (973) 972-3000
UMDNJ Researcher Says Women and African-Americans
Least Likely to Receive Invasive Cardiac Procedures
Statewide Study Reported at American College of Cardiology Convention
ATLANTA—Women and African-Americans are least likely to receive potentially life-saving invasive cardiovascular procedures, says a researcher at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey who conducted a 16-year statewide study.
Researchers at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick examined the rates of invasive, diagnostic and interventional procedures in a comprehensive study among 247,637 patients. The findings from the study were presented today at the American College of Cardiology convention in Atlanta, Ga., by Dr. William J. Kostis, lead author of the study.
The study was conducted using data from the statewide Myocardial Infarction Data Acquisition System, and analyzed all first-time acute myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks, that occurred in New Jersey from 1986 to 2002.
"We found that female and African-American patients have significantly lower rates of cardiac catheterization and intervention than white males," Dr. Kostis said. Among the intervention procedures studied were diagnostic cardiac catheterization, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and balloon angioplasty with optional stent insertion.
"The overall rates of these potentially life-saving procedures are increasing, but there are still disparities between gender and race," Dr. Kostis said. "While the increase is promising, these disparities must be addressed since these procedures have been shown to save lives."
Dr. Kostis explained that demographics including age, socioeconomic factors, health insurance coverage, and proximity to hospitals, as well as the severity of heart disease in those affected, have all been shown to influence whether patients will receive these procedures.
The study found that white males were the most likely to receive cardiac catheterization at 65 percent, followed by African-American males at 61 percent, while white and African-American women were the least likely to receive the catheterization, at 48 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
In the most recent data, Dr. Kostis noted, the probability of patients having the percutaneous coronary intervention, or angioplasty procedure, after catheterization was lower among women-47 percent for women compared to 55 percent for men-and was also lower for African-Americans at 45 percent versus 53 percent for whites.
"Female and African-American patients should be provided with the same access to and appropriate recommendations for use of these procedures to increase their chances of recovery following heart attacks," Dr. Kostis said.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Kostis, call Tom Capezzuto at (973) 972-7273.