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New study questions disparities in vascular surgery among Hispanics
Date:11/9/2007

NEW YORK (Nov. 9, 2007) -- Hispanics in the United States receive fewer vascular surgeries than the general population and have worse outcomes in some cases, according to new research, which also finds that Hispanics often seek treatment only after developing more advanced disease. Reasons for the disparities are not fully understood, but may include a combination of socioeconomic factors and genetic variations.

Published in the November Journal of Vascular Surgery, the study was led by a vascular surgery team from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Using medical records from hospitals in New York and Florida from the years 2000 to 2004, researchers looked at three common vascular surgery procedures -- lower extremity revascularization (LER), carotid revascularization (CR), and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair.

They found that Hispanic patients, compared to non-Hispanic whites, had higher rates of amputation following lower extremity revascularization (a surgical procedure to restore blood supply to a body part or organ) (6.2% vs. 3.4%) and greater risk for death following elective AAA repair (5.0% v. 3.4%). Additionally, Hispanic patients were as much as two times more likely than whites to seek treatment only after developing more advanced disease. They also spend more time in the hospital recovering.

"These are significant disparities, and the reasons for them must be determined in order to make improvements," says the study's principal investigator, Dr. Nicholas J. Morrissey, director of clinical trials and a vascular surgeon at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. "One explanation may be socioeconomic factors, particularly insurance status, which could impede Hispanic patients' access to proper
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Contact: Emily Berlanstein
eab2007@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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