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Can J Cardiol. 2004 Apr;20(5):517-23.

Geographical location of residence and uniformity of access to cardiac revascularization services after catheterization.

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Faculty of Medicine Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.



The centralization of health care services has numerous potential benefits but April compromise access for individuals living in remote areas.


To examine the association between a patient's place of residence and the likelihood of undergoing a coronary revascularization procedure within one year after cardiac catheterization.


All Alberta residents undergoing cardiac catheterization between 1995 and 1998 were examined. Geographical distance from patient place of residence to a centralized catheterization facility was calculated. The adjusted odds of undergoing cardiac revascularization within one year of catheterization was determined as a function of distance, controlling for differences in patient age, clinical factors and economic status.


Of 21816 residents who underwent cardiac catheterization in the province, 10997 had a revascularization procedure. Graphical examination of distance revealed a change in revascularization rates in patients living more than 450 km from revascularization centres. Further analysis was conducted using this cutpoint. Patients living in these remote areas were more likely to undergo a coronary revascularization procedure within the next year (adjusted odds ratio 1.65, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.59). However, these same residents were also less likely to undergo catheterization in the first place when compared with other Albertans (270 versus 398 procedures per 100000 population).


Only a small proportion of the population living in Alberta's most remote areas were more likely to undergo a revascularization procedure, indicating a remarkable uniformity of access to revascularization after coronary cardiac catheterization has occurred. This study examines the use of an existing database to gain further insights into the relationship between geography and access to cardiac care, and the distance-access relationship for coronary revascularization in Alberta.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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