BACKGROUND: Disparities in the management of coronary artery disease were consistently documented in blacks and women in the 1980s and 1990s. Our objective was to determine if racial/ethnic and sex differences in the use of coronary revascularization persist in a more recent cohort.
METHODS: We examined all 20,604 Medicare beneficiaries admitted for acute coronary syndrome in 2001 from a random sample of 750,000 enrollees that was oversampled for black and Hispanic subjects to assess any cardiac revascularization.
RESULTS: After controlling for demographics and comorbidities, black men and women (odds ratios [OR] 0.47, 0.40), Hispanic men and women (ORs 0.61, 0.52), and white women (OR 0.67) had lower rates of revascularization compared with white men. Lower revascularization rates persisted for white women (OR 0.67) and black men and women (OR 0.55 and 0.54), controlling for income status and geographic variation, but were no longer present in the Hispanic population.
CONCLUSION: The mechanisms by which disparities operate may differ for Hispanic and black populations.
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