Poor Fare Worse after Cardiac Surgery

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Health disparities based on gender, race and socioeconomic status are real. A study of patients who had cardiac surgery at Cleveland Clinic showed that patients who had lower socioeconomic status as reflected in factors such as low income, poor education and inadequate housing were significantly more likely to die during the first 10 years after surgery. The study team, lead by Colleen Koch, MD, of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology, demonstrated that disadvantaged patients came to surgery with more cardiovascular disease and chronic conditions, and even after adjusting for these risk factors, their survival was lower after surgery. The authors plan further investigation to examine whether secondary prevention and access to care after surgery contributed to these findings. Their hope is to find areas for targeted inventions to eliminate observed survival differences

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