Influence of race on death and ischemic complications in patients with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndromes despite modern, protocol-guided treatment.Circulation. 2005 Mar 15; 111(10):1217-24.Circ
In the setting of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), nonwhite patients are less likely to undergo invasive cardiac procedures and may have worse clinical outcomes than white patients. Whether the disparate outcomes exist independently of potential biases in treatment patterns remains unclear.
METHODS AND RESULTS
We examined the association between race and outcome in the Treat Angina with Aggrastat and Determine Cost of Therapy With an Invasive or Conservative Strategy-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction 18 study (TACTICS-TIMI 18), a randomized trial of invasive versus conservative treatment strategy in patients with non-ST-elevation ACS. There were 1722 white and 461 nonwhite patients. After adjustment for differences in medical characteristics, nonwhite patients were at significantly increased risk for death, MI, or rehospitalization for ACS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.54; P=0.003). Rates of protocol-guided angiography and revascularization were similar in both groups. For non-protocol-guided care, however, we found significant disparities, with nonwhite patients less likely to be taking their cardiac medications at follow-up (odds ratio [OR], 0.59; P=0.0002), to undergo non-protocol-mandated angiography (OR, 0.40; P=0.03), to receive a stent if undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (OR, 0.55; P=0.045), and to have less procedural success after percutaneous coronary intervention (acute gain, 1.40+/-0.83 versus 1.81+/-0.92 mm; P=0.004). Nonetheless, an invasive strategy was similarly efficacious in white (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.88) and nonwhite (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.52 to 1.39) patients (P(interaction)=0.52), especially in those with troponin elevation or ST deviation.
After adjustment for baseline characteristics, nonwhite patients had a significantly worse prognosis than white patients, regardless of treatment approach. In the absence of protocol guidance, important disparities emerged between the care given the 2 groups. An early invasive strategy is beneficial in and should be considered for all patients, regardless of race.