Study Finds A Racial Disparity In Angioplasty Outcomes

Providing your doctor with an accurate account of your medical history and personal factors, like weight, height, and activity level, is an important component of routine doctor's visits. New research shows that another factor that must be considered in a physical evaluation for certain surgeries is your racial background. 

When it comes to healthcare, a grievous discrepancy exists between the progress, success rates, and access to most types of medical care for Black individuals and other minorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains. Though overall, society as a whole has improved in healthcare options, both preventative and treatment, there's still a large difference in the overall medical care for Black individuals and other minorities. The CDC explains that racism is a threat to healthcare. There are significantly higher rates of illness and death across a number of conditions among racial and ethnic minority groups.

As newer studies are conducted examining cardiac procedures, specific differences in recovery processes and re-admittance in patients point to race as a potential cause (via American Heart Journal).

Race may contribute to recovery success

A study published in the American Heart Journal examined potential racial disparities in the recovery process for patients who had undergone angioplasty and stent placement. More than 29,000 patients of a Michigan hospital were used to evaluate the post-recovery re-admittance rate along with long-term mortality rates. The study results demonstrated that of the participants evaluated, 10.28% were Black and 89.72% were white. Patients included both men and women and all patients were over 65 years of age (via U.S. News).

However, in the 90 days postoperative period, Black patients were 62% more likely to be readmitted to a hospital. Additionally, Black patients were 45% more likely to die than those white patients who went through the same procedure. Another disparity in post-recovery healthcare is that when compared to their white counterparts, Black patients were 60% less likely to be referred to rehabilitative care.

Interestingly, when examining recovery success rates while patients remained in the hospital for care, there was no significant difference between white and Black patients. Racial disparities in healthcare exist due, in part, to a combination of factors, including healthcare infrastructure and socioeconomic factors. Access to affordable and adequate healthcare, both before and following surgery, is a primary concern for improving the health and well-being of the Black community (via U.S. News).