Racial inequalities in the use of procedures for patients with ischemic heart disease in Massachusetts

JAMA. 1989 Jan 13;261(2):253-7.


To examine interracial differences in the utilization of coronary angiography, coronary artery bypass grafting, and coronary angioplasty for white and black patients, we examined all admissions for circulatory diseases or chest pain to Massachusetts hospitals in 1985. After controlling for age, sex, payer, income, primary diagnoses, and the number of secondary diagnoses, whites underwent significantly more angiography and coronary artery bypass grafting procedures. Whites also underwent more angioplasty procedures, but the difference was not statistically significant. Although utilization differences may reflect patient preference or different levels of disease severity and socioeconomic status not adequately accounted for, this study suggests that substantial racial inequalities exist in the use of procedures for patients hospitalized with coronary heart disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty, Balloon / statistics & numerical data*
  • Black or African American
  • Cardiac Catheterization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / statistics & numerical data*
  • Coronary Disease / ethnology*
  • Coronary Disease / therapy
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Middle Aged
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People