Racial Disparities in Acute Coronary Syndrome Management Within a Universal Healthcare Context: Insights From the AMI-OPTIMA Trial

Elsevier, CJC Open, Volume 3, December 2021
d'Entremont M.-A., Wee C.C., Nguyen M., Couture E.L., Lemaire-Paquette S., Kouz S. et al.

Background: Although prior studies have demonstrated racial disparities regarding acute coronary syndrome (ACS) care within private or mixed healthcare systems, few researchers have explored such disparities within universal healthcare systems. We aimed to evaluate the quality and outcomes of in-hospital ACS management for White patients vs patients of colour, within a universal healthcare context. Methods: We performed a post hoc analysis of the Acute Myocardial Infarction - Knowledge Translation to Optimize Adherence to Evidence-Based Therapy study, a cluster-randomized trial evaluating a knowledge-translation intervention at 24 hospitals in Quebec, Canada (years: 2009 and 2012). The primary endpoint was coronary catheterization. The secondary endpoints included in-hospital mortality, percutaneous and surgical coronary revascularization, major bleeding, total stroke, and discharge prescription of evidence-based medical therapy. Results: Of 3444 included patients, 2738 were White, and 706 were people of colour. The mean age was 68.2 years (33.3% women) among White patients and 69.5 years (36.0% women) among patients of colour. Patients of colour were less likely to undergo in-hospital coronary catheterization than were White patients (74.5% vs 80.3%, P = 0.001). This difference was attenuated after adjusting for patient-level characteristics (odds ratio 0.89; 95% confidence interval 0.73-1.09), and it was eliminated after adjusting for hospital-level characteristics (odds ratio 1.04; 95% confidence interval 0.73-1.49). Conclusions: Racial disparity in coronary catheterization for ACS persists within a universal healthcare context. Patients’ comorbidities and hospital-level factors may be partially responsible for this inequality. Future research on cardiovascular healthcare in patients with diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds in universal healthcare systems is needed to remediate racial inequality in ACS management.