Care for Asian-American heart attack patients improved between 2003 and 2008, according to a study published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal. The study found Asian-Americans and whites received about the same level of care, and that differences in care between the two groups decreased over time. The study is significant because little is known about the treatment and outcomes of Asian-Americans who've suffered a heart attack.
"When it comes to disparities in cardiovascular care, most research has focused on African- Americans and Hispanics, likely because they constitute a large portion of the population," said Feng Qian, M.D., Ph.D., lead study author and research assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "This study fills a gap in our knowledge and provides important insights into the health and care of one of the fastest growing racial and ethnic groups in the United States."
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Asian-American population, including people having origins in places like China, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand, increased by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, more than any other major race group. Asian-Americans now make up approximately 5 percent of the U.S. population, up from 4 percent in 2000.
Qian found that Asian-American heart attack patients were significantly older (average age 71 vs. 67 for whites) and more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors and other conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure or smoking, compared with whites.
On the whole, Asian-Americans received nearly the same quality of care as whites, but were less likely to get aspirin (94 percent vs. 97 percent) and smoking cessation counseling (83 percent vs. 93 percent) when discharged from the hospital, and more likely to receive cholesterol-l
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University of Rochester Medical Center