Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Elderly with alcoholism receive equal heart attack care


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:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | 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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>