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Minorities show 'higher rates of inappropriate surgery' to stop stroke

Minorities show 'higher rates of inappropriate surgery' to stop stroke
26th August 2009

People from ethnic minorities have poorer results and higher rates of unnecessary surgery as a result of a procedure used to remove plaque from inside the carotid artery to prevent stroke, it has been stated.

Dr Ethan Halm, chief of the William T and Gay F Solomon Division of General Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern, alongside his researchers, studied the medical outcomes of 9,093 Medicare patients who had undergone the treatment, discovering the trend.

In the month following surgery, 9.5 percent of Hispanic patients and 6.9 percent of the African-Americans had died or suffered another stroke as a result of the procedure, while just 3.8 percent of Caucasian patients had the same fate.

Dr Halm said: "To my knowledge this is the first study to examine the stepwise impact of patient, surgeon and hospital factors as a way of understanding racial/ethnic disparities in clinically confirmed outcomes of carotid artery surgery."

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in both England and Wales, following heart disease and cancer.

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