This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.
Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.
AHCPR Heart Attack Study Published in New England
Journal of Medicine
Press Release Date: August 30, 1995
A study in the August 31 New England Journal of Medicine comparing two States' use of
diagnostic procedures and treatments for heart attack finds that
in the State where angiography
(x-ray exam of blood vessels to the heart) is performed more
often, the patients appeared to have
no greater advantage in terms of survival or health-related
quality of life than those patients in the
state with fewer angiographies.
The study, "Variation in the Use of Cardiac Procedures After
Acute Myocardial Infarction,"
looked at Medicare patients aged 65-79 admitted in 1990 to
hospitals in New York, where the
rate of cardiac procedures is low, and in Texas, where the rate
is high. The researchers used data
from Medicare files, hospital records and the patients to compare
rates for angiography, cardiac
catheterization and coronary-artery bypass surgery.
The study also found that patients treated in Texas were
significantly more likely than those
treated in New York to undergo catheterization either in the
hospital or within 90 days of
admission. According to the researchers, this may result from
differences in the expectations of
New York and Texas physicians regarding the benefits of
catheterization for patients at lower risk
of another heart attack.
The research was conducted by Edward Guadagnoli, Ph.D., Paul J.
Hauptman, M.D., John Z.
Ayanian, M.D., M.P.P., Chris L. Pashos, PhD, Barbara J. McNeil, M.D.,
Ph.D., and Paul D. Cleary,
Ph.D., at the Health Care Policy Department, Harvard Medical
The study was supported by AHCPR as part of a large-scale,
multidisciplinary Patient Outcomes
Research Team (PORT) project on the consequences of variation in
treatment for acute
myocardial infarction. AHCPR will release the final PORT report
For more information on this or other AHCPR-funded research on
quality of care, contact
AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 ;
Salina Prasad, (301) 427-1864. The public affairs contact at Harvard
Medical School is Keren R.
McGinity, (617) 432-0441.