The difference in quality of care for black and white heart-attack patients appears to stem from the hospitals at which they are treated, according to a study by Dartmouth Medical School researchers. "Our research is consistent with the view that African Americans tend to go to hospitals where everyone gets lower quality care," lead researcher Jonathan Skinner said in a news release. Hospitals with a preponderance of white patients typically provided better care than hospitals with a high number of black patients, according to study results in the journal Circulation. Researchers analyzed risk-adjusted data from Medicare records for 1.13 million heart-attack patients at 4,289 hospitals between 1997 and 2001. The 90-day mortality rate for heart attacks at hospitals with no black heart-attack patients was 20.1%, compared with 23.7% at hospitals with the highest percentage of black heart-attack patients. -- by Joseph Conn
Black heart-attack patients treated at worse hospitals
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