Women surviving cardiovascular disease treatment in hospitals at higher rates: Healthgrades study

But three-year study of women's cardiac and stroke outcomes shows 40% lower mortality in the best-performing hospitals compared to poorest-performing hospitals

2,100 Hospitals Rated in Women's Health and Maternity Care; Posted to HealthGrades.com

Golden, Colo. (June 26, 2006) – American hospitals improved women's survival rates for treatment of heart disease and stroke by an average of 9.54 percent from 2002 through 2004, according to the third annual HealthGrades Women's Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals study, released today.

But inhospital mortality from cardiac disease and stroke – two major subsets of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among U.S. women – varied widely from hospital to hospital, the study found. Best-performing hospitals had, on average, a 40 percent lower mortality rate than those hospitals designated as Poor performers. Compared against Average hospitals, Best performers had, on average, a 23 percent lower mortality rate.

The greatest gap among hospitals occurred in coronary bypass surgery, where there was a relative difference of almost 50 percent in risk-adjusted morality associated with the Best-performing hospitals, as compared to Poor-performing hospitals.

The three-year study of more than 2.1 million hospitalizations at more than 2,100 hospitals analyzed the following six procedures and diagnoses for each hospital's female patients:

  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Valve replacement surgery
  • Percutaneous coronary interventions
  • Acute myocardial infarction
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

"In this year's study we were pleased to see such dramatic improvement in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in women, who have historically been under-diagnosed and under-treated," said the study's author, Samantha Collier, MD, HealthGrades' vice president of medical affairs. "But women need to know that the gap in quality between the Best and Poorest-performing hospitals is real and has not closed in the three years we have been conducting this study."

The study also found that:

  • While overall women's cardiac and stroke risk-adjusted inhospital mortality rates improved by an average of 9.54 percent from 2002 to 2004, the greatest improvement was seen in the specific treatment of heart failure, which improved an average of 15.34 percent.
  • If all hospitals performed at the level of the Best-performing hospitals in the study, 30,548 additional women may have survived their hospitalization for heart disease and stroke.

Hospitals in the Best-performing and Poor-performing categories had risk-adjusted mortality rates that were lower or higher than average to a statistically significant degree.

The star ratings for women's health and maternity care at each of the 2,100 hospitals were updated today on HealthGrades' Web site. Ratings are available for hospitals in the 17 states that collect and release patient-outcome data. Those states include: Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

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The study, including the full methodology, can also be found on http://www.healthgrades.com.

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades is the leading health care ratings company, providing quality ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. HealthGrades' independent ratings and complete suite of health-management tools are relied upon by three million consumers each month as well as more than 125 of the nation's largest employers and health plans and more than 250 hospitals. More information on the company can be found at www.healthgrades.com.

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