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Circulation. 2005 Mar 15;111(10):1284-90.

Influence of racial disparities in procedure use on functional status outcomes among patients with coronary artery disease.

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  • 1University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Although black cardiac patients receive fewer revascularization procedures than whites, it is unclear whether this has a detrimental impact on outcomes. The objective of our study was to compare 6-month functional status and angina outcomes among blacks and whites with documented coronary disease and to assess whether differential use of revascularization procedures affects these outcomes.


We identified a prospective cohort of 1534 white and 337 black patients undergoing cardiac catheterization between August 1998 and April 2001. Health status was assessed at baseline and 6 months with the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) Health Survey and the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) Angina Frequency Scale. Compared with whites, blacks received fewer coronary revascularization procedures (52.5% versus 66.0%; P<0.01). By 6 months, blacks had similar mortality (odds ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.57 to 1.9) but worse scores in 5 SF-36 domains (physical, social, role physical, role emotional, and mental health function). Blacks also reported higher rates of angina at 6 months than whites (34.2% versus 24.6%; P<0.01). After adjustment for baseline functional status and clinical and demographic variables, blacks had significantly worse summary physical component scores, summary mental component scores, and SAQ Angina Frequency Scale scores. However, differences in physical component summary scores and SAQ scores between blacks and whites were no longer significant after adjustment for revascularization status.


Our study is among the first to document greater symptoms and functional impairment among black cardiac patients relative to whites. Differential use of coronary revascularization may contribute to the poorer functional outcomes observed among black patients with documented coronary disease.

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