Study Examines Racial Disparities in Patient Characteristics, Survival After Heart Attack

Bottom Line: This study analyzed data for about 6,400 patients who had heart attacks to compare black and white patients across a range of characteristics (demographic, socioeconomic status, social factors, lifestyle factors, medical history, clinical presentation, health status and depression). Researchers looked at how these patient characteristics differed by race, how they were associated with survival after heart attack, and whether the association differed for black and white patients who had similar characteristics. Analyses suggest a difference in mortality rate based on characteristics that were more common in black patients but no differences in survival rates at one and five years between black and white patients with similar characteristics. These findings call for more understanding about how and why certain patient characteristics that are more common in black patients, such as lower socioeconomic status, are associated with survival so that new strategies can be developed to reduce observed racial disparities.

Authors:  Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, and co-authors


To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.