Heart disease hospitalizations vary among Medicare beneficiaries

The Centers for Disease Control reports that Heart disease hospitalization rates for Medicare patients vary substantially by state and county. 

Key highlights from the report include:

  • During 2000–2006, heart disease hospitalizations were higher for men compared with women.
  • Hospitalization rates were highest among blacks compared with Hispanics and whites
  • Rates of heart disease hospitalizations increased sharply with age. The rate for the oldest age group in the study population (≥85 years) was about 2.2 times higher than the rate for the youngest age group (65–74 years)
  • Counties with the highest percentages of heart disease patients discharged home were concentrated primarily in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Texas.
  • Counties with the highest percentages of patients discharged to skilled nursing facilities were found mostly in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
  • Counties with the highest percentages of patients who died before discharge were found mostly in California, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and New York.

(Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov, AHA News Now, March 5, 2010).