Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Study: Race disparity in medical care persists - CNN.com

Study: Race disparity in medical care persists - CNN.com: WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Blacks were far less likely than whites to get specialized procedures after a heart attack and were more likely to die within a year, according to a study showing persistent racial disparities in U.S. medical care.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, tracked 1.2 million Medicare patients at least 68 years old treated for a heart attack between January 2000 and June 2005 at 4,627 U.S. hospitals.

It found large differences in the way heart attacks are treated in black patients compared with white patients.

Black people were about 30 percent less likely to get procedures to open blood vessels such as angioplasty or open-heart surgery after a heart attack regardless of whether the hospital they checked into provided full invasive cardiac services, the study found.

Black people were 22 percent less likely to be transferred from a hospital that did not do such procedures to one that did, it found. And when they were, black people were 23 percent less likely to get these operations than white people, the researchers said.