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More African-Americans die of heart attacks

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NEW ORLEANS, Nov 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A study by Duke Clinical Research Institute, in Durham, N.C., found blacks are more likely to die than whites a year after suffering a heart attack.

The researchers found that one year after being treated in the hospital, African-American patients have a 1.7 percent higher death rate than white patients. They also found, while mortality rates within the first 30 days after treatment were similar between the two ethnic groups, African-Americans were more likely to suffer a major bleeding event or a stroke.

"No matter what patient or treatment feature we adjusted for statistically, this disparity in long-term outcomes still remained," said Mehta, who presented the findings at the American Heart Association's annual scientific sessions in New Orleans. "There has to be something else going on that we don't fully understand."

However, Metha suspects a combination of socio-economic factors, including compliance with long-term drug therapy, mistrust of the medical system, and lack of medical insurance could be the cause for the disparity.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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