Blacks, Poor Whites Have Worse Survival After Heart Attack

Medscape | Marlene Busko

NEW HAVEN, CT — For older MI survivors, African Americans of all income levels and poor whites have a significantly shorter life expectancy than other MI survivors, according to the results of a new study[1].

Specifically, 17 years after having an MI at a mean age of 76 years, 9.1%, 7.0%, and 5.4% of whites living in high, medium, and low socioeconomic-status areas, respectively, survived, but only 7.1%, 5.7%, and 5.2% of black patients living in these same areas were alive.

The racial discrepancy in survival was most apparent in younger Medicare patients living in wealthy neighborhoods. Among 65-year-old MI survivors living in wealthy neighborhoods, whites lived 3.25 years longer than blacks. Among same-aged survivors living in poor neighborhoods, whites lived 2.15 years longer than blacks.

Published online September 14, 2015 in Circulation, the study included a representative sample of an elderly Medicare population with MI in the US, Dr Emily Bucholz (Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT) told heartwire from Medscape.

Overall, the researchers showed that black patients were more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors but less likely to receive CABG or PCI. Thus, "efforts aimed at reducing health disparities should target primary prevention and equitable delivery of care after heart attack," she said. Continue reading.