Context: Racial differences in the use of coronary revascularization after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) have been widely reported. However, few studies have examined patterns of care for AMI patients admitted to hospitals with and without revascularization services.
Objective: To compare rates of hospital transfer, coronary revascularization, and mortality after AMI for black and white patients admitted to hospitals with and without revascularization services.
Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective cohort study of 1,215,924 black and white Medicare beneficiaries aged 68 years and older, admitted with AMI between January 1, 2000, and June 30, 2005, to 4627 US hospitals with and without revascularization services.
Main outcome measures: For patients admitted to nonrevascularization hospitals, transfer to another hospital with revascularization services; for all patients, risk-adjusted rates of 30-day coronary revascularization and 1-year mortality.
Results: Black patients admitted to hospitals without revascularization were less likely (25.2% vs 31.0%; P<.001) to be transferred. Black patients admitted to hospitals with or without revascularization services were less likely to undergo revascularization than white patients (34.3% vs 50.2% and 18.3% vs 25.9%; P<.001) and had higher 1-year mortality (35.3% vs 30.2% and 39.7% vs 37.6%; P<.001). After adjustment for sociodemographics, comorbidity, and illness severity, blacks remained less likely to be transferred (hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-0.81; P<.001) and undergo revascularization (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.69-0.74; P<.001; and HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.65-0.70; P<.001 in hospitals with and without revascularization, respectively). Risk-adjusted mortality was lower for blacks during the first 30 days after admission (HR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.88-0.93; P<.001; and HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.87-0.92; P<.001 in hospitals with and without revascularization, respectively) but was higher (P<.001) thereafter.
Conclusions: Black patients admitted to hospitals with and without coronary revascularization services are less likely to receive coronary revascularization. The higher long-term mortality of black patients may reflect the lower use of revascularization or other aspects of AMI care.