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The use of percutaneous coronary intervention in black and white veterans with acute myocardial infarction.

Maynard C, Sun H, Lowy E, Sales AE, Fihn SD. The use of percutaneous coronary intervention in black and white veterans with acute myocardial infarction. BMC health services research. 2006 Aug 21; 6:107.

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BACKGROUND: It is uncertain whether black white differences in the use of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) persist in the era of drug eluting stents. The purpose of this study is to determine if black veterans with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are less likely to receive PCI than their white counterparts. METHODS: This study included 680 black and 3529 white veterans who were admitted to Veterans Health Administration (VHA) medical centers between July 2003 and August 2004. Information for this study was collected as part of the VHA External Peer Review Program for quality monitoring and improvement for a variety of medical conditions and procedures, including AMI. In addition, Department of Veterans Affairs workload files were used to determine PCI utilization after hospital discharge. Standard statistical methods including the Chi-square, 2 sample t-test, and logistic regression with a cluster correction for medical center were used to assess the association between race and the use of PCI < or = 30 days from admission. RESULTS: Black patients were younger, more often had diabetes mellitus, renal disease, or dementia and less often had lipid disorders, previous coronary artery bypass surgery, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than their white counterparts. Equal proportions of blacks and whites underwent cardiac catheterization < or = 30 days after admission, but the former were less likely to undergo PCI (32% vs. 40%, p < 0.0001). This difference persisted after multivariate adjustment, although measures of the extent of coronary artery disease were not available. CONCLUSION: Given the equivalent use of cardiac catheterization, it is possible that less extensive or minimal coronary artery disease in black patients could account for the observed difference.

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