Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Elderly with alcoholism receive equal heart attack care

04.01.2006


Older Americans with alcohol problems do not get worse treatment than their sober peers when they are hospitalized for a heart attack, according to new research on Medicare patients across the country.

Alcoholic patients were less likely than sober patients to receive beta-blocker drugs when they were discharged from the hospital, but there were no other significant treatment differences between the two groups. The study is published in the latest issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"Alcohol-related diagnoses are not a barrier to receiving most quality of care measures in elderly patients hospitalized" for heart attack, David Fiellin, M.D., of Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues conclude.



The encouraging finding "speaks to the fact that there have been significant efforts across the board, in medicine in general, to monitor the provision of quality care," Fiellin said.

However, the researchers also note that the "overall provision of quality of care indicators was low," when measured across all patients.

Fiellin and colleagues analyzed data for 155,026 Medicare patients age 65 and older admitted to a hospital with a heart attack. Only 1,284 of these patients also had an alcohol-related diagnosis on their medical records.

The researchers then compared the care that the patients received with seven quality guidelines for heart attack treatment, including the use of beta-blocker and ACE inhibitor drugs, aspirin, angioplasty and advice to quit smoking.

With the exception of beta-blockers prescribed upon release from the hospital, patients with an alcohol diagnosis fared no worse than their peers in terms of getting guideline care.

Fiellin and colleagues began their study with the thought that elderly adults diagnosed with an alcohol abuse problem could be a "vulnerable population" that might receive substandard treatment in the hospitals.

"I think that concern was that, as we know, patients who have mental health diagnoses can experience some level of stigma when they enter the health care system," Fiellin said.

Earlier studies by some of Fiellin’s co-authors found that patients with mental disorders, including substance abuse, were less likely to get heart procedures such as certain types of bypass and angioplasty surgeries.

Age may also play an unwelcome discriminating factor in what kind of care certain patients receive, as Canadian researchers showed earlier this year. Shaohua Wang, M.D., a clinical professor of cardiac surgery at the University of Alberta, said that more than half of hospitals in North America who offer transplants use age as one of their criteria to screen out individuals for transplant.

However, the Alberta study showed that patients aged 60 and older did just as well as younger patients after receiving a heart transplant.

"There are many factors involved in determining who is and who isn’t an appropriate candidate for a heart transplant, but this study clearly shows that age should not be one of those factors," Wang said.

David Fiellin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cfah.org
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>