Context: A number of studies have found race- and sex-based differences in rates of cardiovascular procedures in the United States. Similarly, mental disorders might be expected to be associated with lower rates of such procedures on the basis of clinical, socioeconomic, patient, and provider factors.
Objective: To assess whether having a comorbid mental disorder is associated with a lower likelihood of cardiac catheterization and/or revascularization after acute myocardial infarction.
Design: Retrospective cohort study using data from medical charts and administrative files as part of the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project.
Setting: Acute care nongovernmental hospitals in the United States.
Patients: National cohort of 113653 eligible patients 65 years or older who were hospitalized for confirmed acute myocardial infarction between February 1994 and July 1995.
Main outcome measures: Likelihood of cardiac catheterization, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery during the index hospitalization, comparing patients with and without mental disorders (classified as schizophrenia, major affective disorder, substance abuse/dependence disorder, or other mental disorder).
Results: Compared with the remainder of the sample, patients with any comorbid mental disorder (n = 5365; 4.7%) were significantly less likely to undergo PTCA (11.8% vs 16.8%; P<.001) or CABG (8.2% vs 12.6%; P<.001). After adjusting for demographic, clinical, hospital, and regional factors, individuals with mental disorders were 41% (for schizophrenia) to 78% (for substance use) as likely to undergo cardiac catheterization as those without mental disorders (P<.001 for all). Among those undergoing catheterization, rates of PTCA or CABG for patients with mental disorders were not significantly different from rates for patients without mental disorders (for those with any mental disorder, P = .12 for PTCA and P = .06 for CABG). In multivariate models, the 30-day mortality did not differ between patients with and without mental disorders.
Conclusions: In this study, individuals with comorbid mental disorders were substantially less likely to undergo coronary revascularization procedures than those without mental disorders. Further research is needed to understand the degree to which patient and provider factors contribute to this difference and its implications for quality and long-term outcomes of care.