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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    London, Britannia.
    Posts
    3,077

    News :: Death rate following a heart attack higher in US hospitals serving blacks?

    I apologise for the headline, it is about as accurate as i could make it with the character limit but i acknowledge that isn't enough i .


    Article extract >>

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The death rate following a heart attack is significantly increased at hospitals that disproportionately serve black patients, according to a new report.

    Previous reports have shown that blacks are more likely than whites to be treated by physicians with less training or at hospitals where it takes longer for treatment for a heart attack to be started. However, the impact of these differences on outcomes was unclear.

    To investigate, Dr. Jonathan Skinner, from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and co-investigators analyzed data on more than 1 million Medicare patients who were hospitalized for a heart attack between 1997 and 2001.

    The study included 4289 hospitals that were rated from 1 to 10 based on the extent to which they treated to black patients, the team explains in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation. Category 1 hospitals treated no black heart-attack patients during the study period, whereas at category 10 hospitals about one third of all heart-attack patients were black.

    The percentage of patients who died within 90 days after suffering a heart attack was significantly higher in category 10 hospitals compared with category 1 hospitals: 23.7 percent vs. 20.1 percent.

    The researchers found that the difference in mortality between category 1 and category 10 hospitals could not be explained by income, hospital ownership status, the volume of heart attacks treated at the hospital, census region, or urban status.

    In a related editorial, Dr. Nancy R. Kressin, from Boston University School of Public Health comments, "The evidence to date suggests a discouraging picture of racial disparities in cardiovascular care, and Skinner and coworkers' study documents disparate outcomes associated with segregated care. It is still not clear what proportion of the life expectancy gap in cardiovascular disease is explained by disparate care."

    End extract <<

    Ful article, see source :: http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/news...-BLACKS-DC.XML


    Now i heard one of the author's of this report on the raido earlier this mrning, and he made a point of saying that although there is a larger black popualtion in these areas it affects those of other backgrounds equally as bad.

    Is this another example of the "post code lottery" in healthcare as know it? Or something intrinsically unique to the hospital/healthcare system they taht exists in America?

    With reform of the NHS here in the UK now a constant companion of government, how will reports like these affect that?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Duluth MN
    Posts
    3,864
    In my mind, this statistic mirrors education (at least in the US).

    Hospitals in poorer cities/neighborhoods can't attract the best doctors, so they get what they can afford. The same with education. Poor schools can't attract the best teachers, so they suffer from it.


    Most people who go into the medical profession to be dotors, don't do it for the touchy-feely feeling of helping people, rather they do it for the money. (Note, I said most, not all). So why would someone who is in the business just for the money, who is one of the best cardiac doctors in the country want to be in a hostpital in the middle of the ghetto? They'll choose to work at the hospital on the other end of town where they can get paid more.


    I'm not saying that this is right, I'm just saying this is the way it is.

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