-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with
peripheral artery disease have an increased risk of death following
heart bypass surgery compared to white patients, and therefore
require closer follow-up, according to a new study.
In peripheral artery disease, plaque accumulates in arteries
that carry blood to the head, organs and limbs. One in 20 Americans
over age 50 has peripheral artery disease, according to the U.S.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Research has shown that
peripheral artery disease is more common among blacks.
Researchers analyzed the medical records of more than 13,000
patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville, N.C., between
1992 and 2011. About 11 percent of the patients had peripheral
artery disease at the time they had the open-heart surgery to
repair blockages in the arteries.
Median survival was nine years for patients with peripheral
artery disease and 15 years for patients without peripheral artery
disease. Median survival was nine and a half years for white
patients with peripheral artery disease and eight years for black
patients with peripheral artery disease, according to the study,
which was published in the July issue of the journal
Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
"Our results highlight that the quality and quantity of health care should be extended to all groups for improved overall health and maximization of long-term survival after CABG surgery," study lead author Jimmy Efird, of East Carolina University, said in a journal news release.
"We recommend that cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists continue to closely monitor black patients with [peripheral artery disease] after CABG surgery with an understanding that they have an increased long-term risk of death compared with white patients," he added.
Study senior author Dr. Alan Kypson said that by critically
examining long-term survival rates in different populations it
should be possible "to narrow the racial disparity gap that we know
exists in medicine."
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
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