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Florida study finds barriers to angioplasty for life-threatening heart attacks
Date:10/8/2008

as patients 75-years-old or older.

  • Men were more likely to receive same-day PCI than women throughout the study period.

  • While black patients were less likely to receive same-day PCI than whites in early 2001, the racial disparity disappeared by the end of the study.

  • Even by late 2005, patients admitted on weekends were 25 percent less likely to receive same-day PCI than those admitted on week days.

    Hospital PCI volume was also a significant factor in receiving same-day procedures. Patients admitted to medium to high-volume hospitals that performed at least 200 PCIs a year were five times more likely to receive same-day PCI than those at low-volume hospitals performing fewer than 200 procedures a year.

    "The trend is positive, but the state still has a long way to go before all heart attack patients receive the optimal level of care," said lead investigator Dr. Pathak, an associate professor of epidemiology at the USF College of Public Health. "Many leading hospitals in Florida and across the nation are putting into place new policies and protocols that are eliminating the 'weekend problem.' However, the reasons behind the apparent age and gender disparities shown in our study and others are likely more complex and require further focused research.

    "As a woman, if I had a heart attack I would want to be treated just as aggressively as a male patient. But I don't think this is a matter of simple discrimination the answer is going to be more complex," Dr. Pathak said. "Future research will need to examine more detailed medical data to evaluate whether some patients were excluded from PCI for legitimate clinical reasons such as certain risk factors or complications."

    Supported by a new grant from the American Heart Association, Dr. Pathak will be examining the feasibility of a statewide system for routing STEMI patients to high-volume PCI hospitals. She will examine hospital, geographic
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  • Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
    abaier@health.usf.edu
    813-974-3300
    University of South Florida Health
    Source:Eurekalert

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