Heart Attacks Hospitalizing More Minorities, Killing Patients Younger

The rates of hospitalizations and deaths due to heart attacks are decreasing in California, but a state analysis released yesterday reveals troubling trends: Heart attacks are sending more racial and ethnic minorities to the hospital, and they’re killing patients at a younger age. Overall, the number of heart attacks per 1,000 Californians fell nearly 15 percent from 1988 to 2008, according to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. But that decline was driven only by white patients, who represented 61 percent of all heart attack hospitalizations in 2008. Among racial and ethnic minorities, heart attack hospitalizations jumped by as much as 62 percent. While whites saw a 12.5 percent drop in hospitalizations, the rate increased by 33 percent for African Americans, 33.6 percent for Hispanics, nearly 55 percent for Asian/Pacific Islanders and 62.3 percent for Native Americans.

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