Little information is available about factors associated with racial differences across a broad spectrum of post–myocardial infarction outcomes, including patients’ symptoms and quality of life.
To determine racial differences in mortality, rehospitalization, angina, and quality of life after myocardial infarction and identify the factors associated with these differences.
Prospective cohort study.
10 hospitals in the United States.
1849 patients who had myocardial infarction, 28% of whom were black.
Demographic, economic, clinical, psychosocial, and treatment characteristics and outcomes were prospectively collected. Outcomes included time to 2-year all-cause mortality, 1-year rehospitalization, and Seattle Angina Questionnaire–assessed angina and quality of life.
Black patients had higher unadjusted mortality (19.9% vs. 9.3%; P < 0.001) and rehospitalization rates (45.4% vs. 40.4%; P = 0.130), more angina (28.0% vs. 17.8%; P < 0.001), and worse mean quality of life (80.6 [SD, 22.5] vs. 85.9 [SD, 17.2]; P < 0.001). After adjusting for patient characteristics, black patients trended toward greater mortality (hazard ratio, 1.29 [95% CI, 0.92 to 1.81]; P = 0.142), fewer rehospitalizations (hazard ratio, 0.82 [CI, 0.66 to 1.02]; P = 0.071), higher likelihood of angina at 1 year (odds ratio, 1.41 [CI, 1.03 to 1.94]; P = 0.032), but similar quality of life (mean difference, −0.6 [CI, −3.4 to 2.2]). Adjusting for site further attenuated mortality differences (hazard ratio, 1.04 [CI, 0.71 to 1.52]; P = 0.84). Adjustment for treatments had minimal effect on any association.
Residual confounding and missing data may have introduced bias.
Although black patients with myocardial infarction have worse outcomes than white patients, these differences did not persist after adjustment for patient factors and site of care. Further adjustment for treatments minimally influenced observed differences. Strategies that focus on improving baseline cardiac risk and hospital factors may do more to attenuate racial differences in myocardial infarction outcomes than treatment-focused strategies.