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Women and Black Patients have less chances to survive a Heart Attack

New Haven, Conn. – Ever since the treatment methodologies to treat heart attacks improved and became standardised what has remained constant is the difference in survival between male and female patients, whites and blacks in the // USA.

In one of the largest national studies on this topic in the US, the researchers have shown that the ‘use of clinically recommended treatments’ - such as aspirin, beta-blockers and reperfusion therapy , were lower in women and black patients with a heart attack.

Additionally, cardiac catheterization, a diagnostic procedure used to identify blockages in the heart's circulation commonly performed in patients after a heart attack, was also used less frequently in women and black patients with a heart attack.

"What concerns me most is that we found persistence of an elevated risk of death among African American women," said senior author Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., professor of medicine and public health at Yale School of Medicine. "This finding, along with evidence of differences in treatment, requires attention and remedy."

The authors used data from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction-3 and -4, a registry of 589,911 patients hospitalized for heart attacks throughout the United States between 1994 and 2002, sponsored by the Genentech, Inc. The team evaluated whether race and sex differences in treatment that had been previously reported in heart attack care had changed in subsequent years.

"Lower rates of treatment in patients who are clinically appropriate for treatment are troubling and raise obvious concerns about under-treatment," said first author Viola Vaccarino, M.D., associate professor of cardiology and epidemiology at Emory University. "Differences in treatment were not explained by patient age, risk factors or other clinical characteristics that might differ between patients. We simply could not determine the reasons for these differences." Saif
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