EVANSTON, Ill., March 20, 2007 /PRNewswire/ -- Treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) appears to be shifting away from the inpatient setting, according to a study published today in The American Journal of Cardiology.
U.S. hospitalization rates for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions) declined 10.6 percent from 2002 to 2005, possibly due to broader use of preventive treatments such as statin drugs and aspirin, as well as declines in risk factors like smoking.
The study is a collaboration between researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and Solucient, part of Thomson Healthcare, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.
"Although there was an expectation that the aging U.S. population would cause an increased need for inpatient care of patients with cardiovascular disease, the reality is that changes in treatment may be causing a shift to the outpatient setting," said Janet Young, M.D., a senior scientist at Solucient. "This trend has important implications for hospitals and health systems and their allocation of resources."
Researchers found that: - Hospitalizations for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) decreased steadily from 661,000 in 2002 to 591,000 in 2005 -- a decline from 309 to 266 per 100,000 persons. This was driven by a decrease in the more severe transmural form of AMI from 118 to 87 per 100,000. - Hospitalization rates for coronary revascularization declined from 382 to 358 per 100,000 persons from 2002 to 2005 -- largely due to a decrease in coronary artery bypass surgeries from 258,000 to 209,000 per year. - During this period, inpatient use of less-invasive revascularization treatments known as percutaneous coronary interventions -- including the use of balloon angioplasty and stents administered via cardiac catheterization -- increased from 5 64,000 to 592,000.
"Our study shows a decline in utilization for inpatient services related to coronary artery disease, possibly reflecting a distinct shift in the nature of treatment," said Brahmajee Nallamothu, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and health services researcher at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Medical Center. "There is reason to believe this landscape will continue to change. Recent research, for example, raises questions about the use of drugs, stents, and surgery under various scenarios. Clearly, healthcare providers need to evaluate the needs of their specific patient populations in light of the most current research as they plan and prepare for the future."
The researchers used Solucient's ACTracker(R) database, a proprietary repository containing data on approximately 6 million annual discharges from more than 450 hospitals.
About The Thomson Corporation and Solucient
Solucient(R), a part of Thomson Healthcare, is the market leader in providing tools and vital insights that healthcare managers use to improve the performance of their organizations. By integrating, standardizing and enhancing healthcare information, Solucient provides comparative measurements of cost, quality and market performance. Solucient's expertise and proven solutions enable providers and pharmaceutical companies to drive business growth, manage costs and deliver high quality care. For more information, visit www.thomsonhealthcare.com.
The Thomson Corporation (www.thomson.com) is a global leader in providing essential electronic workflow solutions to business and professional customers. With operational headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Thomson provides value-added information, software tools and appli cations to professionals in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, scientific research and healthcare. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges .
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