Gender, Race, and Cardiac Care: Why the Differences?
This reality is common to men and women in the U.S. of all races: they all are more likely to die from heart disease than any other cause (1). Beyond this commonality, however, lie substantial variations in cardiac care according to gender and race. In 2002, a comprehensive review of studies about disparities by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American College of Cardiology Foundation (2) found significant differences in cardiac care for minority groups. According to these studies, African-American patients, for example, are less likely than white patients to undergo diagnostic tests and revascularization, even after controlling for clinical and socioeconomic factors. The Kaiser findings mirrored a 2002 Institute of Medicine report (3) that concluded that racial/ethnic variations in medical care are widespread.