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Racial Disparities Found in Heart Care in the UK During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, March 24, 2021 — Racial disparities in care for heart patients were seen during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, according to a study published online March 8 in Heart.

Muhammad Rashid, from Keele University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues investigated admission rates, treatment, and mortality for Black, Asian, and minority ethnic individuals with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during COVID-19. National U.K. health records were used to identify patients hospitalized with AMI during the pandemic (Feb. 1, 2020, to May 27, 2020), as well as patients hospitalized during the same time period in the three previous years.

The researchers found that among 73,746 patients, higher proportions of Black, Asian, and minority ethnic individuals were hospitalized with AMI during the COVID-19 period versus the pre-COVID-19 period (16.7 versus 10.1 percent). Black, Asian, and minority ethnic patients admitted during the COVID-19 period were younger, male, and likely to present with ST-elevation AMI. Compared with Whites, Black, Asian, and minority ethnic individuals admitted with non-ST-elevation AMI during the COVID-19 period less frequently received coronary angiography and had a longer median delay to reperfusion. Black, Asian, and minority ethnic patients had higher in-hospital (odds ratio, 1.68) and seven-day mortality (odds ratio, 1.81) during COVID-19 compared with the pre-COVID-19 period.

“There is a need to develop clinical pathways to achieve equity in the management of these vulnerable populations,” the authors write.

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