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Am J Med. 2006 Feb;119(2):167.e17-21.

Disparities in the use of primary prevention and defibrillator therapy among blacks and women.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study determines whether there are racial or gender disparities in the use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy for primary prevention of sudden cardiac death.

BACKGROUND:

Primary prevention of sudden death with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy has been shown to improve survival for high-risk patients with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction.

METHODS:

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Medicare database from the year 2002 was used to identify patients who were potential candidates for implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy on the basis of a combination of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes that reflected the presence of an ischemic cardiomyopathy. This cohort was analyzed to determine which patients received implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy during the same year. The clinical characteristics of the potential implantable cardioverter-defibrillator candidates were compared with those who actually received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

RESULTS:

A total 132565 Medicare patients hospitalized during 2002 were identified as having an ischemic cardiomyopathy; 10370 (8%) of these patients underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation during the same year. The percentage of patients who underwent implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation was higher for men compared with women (10.2% vs 3.5%; P<.001) and whites compared with blacks (8.1 vs 5.4; P<.001). After multivariate analysis, age, gender, and race remained independent predictors of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator implantation. Women with an ischemic cardiomyopathy were 65% less likely to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy compared with men (P<.001), and black patients were 31% less likely to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy compared with patients of other races (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy for primary prevention of sudden death among the elderly population identified as having an ischemic cardiomyopathy was significantly lower among women compared with men, and among blacks compared with whites. Further exploration of gender and racial barriers to appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator use for primary prevention is needed.

PMID:
16443424
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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