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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Rutgers: Study Examines Disparities in Access to Revascularization in New York

A recent Rutgers School of Public Health – led study found that residents in low-income zip code areas are less likely to receive bypass and angioplasty procedures than those in high-income zip codes.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart bypass or angioplasty procedures of the heart, also known as revascularization, are recognized as an effective treatment of patients with unstable CAD, as well as for those with stable ischemic heart disease (IHD). Limited access to revascularization can affect a patient’s survival rate.

Led by Dr. Michael Gusmano, associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health, the researchers identified the number of hospitalizations for patients diagnosed with IHD and/or congestive heart failure and the number of revascularization procedures performed on the population 45 years and older between the years 2000-2002 and 2011-2013. The researchers relied on hospital administrative data for New York City provided by the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System.

Findings revealed that insurance status, race, gender, number of diagnoses, and zip code of residence are all associated with statistically significant odds ratios of revascularization. In addition, despite significant efforts by the American Heart Association and other groups to raise awareness about the importance of heart disease among women, significant disparities in treatment persist.

“Our previous research indicates that this gender disparity it not unique to the United States although, it is possible that men are receiving too much revascularization, and it is also possible that women are being undertreated,” said Dr. Gusmano.

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