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African-Americans Have Better Short-Term Outcomes Following Coronary Interventions, Find University of Pittsburgh Researchers

DALLAS, November 16, 2005 — Racial disparities in cardiovascular outcomes are well-established, however new findings from University of Pittsburgh researchers indicate that African Americans fare better in the short term following coronary interventions. Results are being presented today in scientific sessions of the American Heart Association meeting held in Dallas.

Oscar Marroquin, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues studied the data of 3,692 white and 987 black patients enrolled in the multi-center National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Dynamic Registry who underwent coronary interventions between July 1997 and May 2004. Researchers compared the rates of myocardial infarction (heart attack), coronary bypass surgery, death and revascularization of patients at one-month, six-month and one-year intervals.

Paradoxically, despite having more adverse characteristics such as diabetes and high blood pressure, more acute myocardial infarction and less stent implantation, blacks were found to have a 70 percent lower risk of dying while in the hospital and better one- and six-month outcomes following their coronary interventions. However, the researchers found that after one year, the African-American patients no longer showed improved outcomes, pointing to the need for aggressive adherence to risk reduction recommendations.

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