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Poorer patients present with more advanced pulmonary hypertension

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
American Thoracic Society (ATS)
Summary:
Pulmonary hypertension patients from lower socioeconomic groups present for initial evaluation at a more advanced disease state than those from higher income groups, according to a new study. "Lower socioeconomic status is associated with reduced access to health care and negative effects on health status, but data on its effects on the care of patients with pulmonary hypertension is scarce," said one researcher.
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Pulmonary hypertension patients from lower socioeconomic groups present for initial evaluation at a more advanced disease state than those from higher income groups, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

"Lower socioeconomic status is associated with reduced access to health care and negative effects on health status, but data on its effects on the care of patients with pulmonary hypertension is scarce," said researcher Jose Cardenas-Garcia, MD, a Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellow at Hofstra North Shore -- Long Island Jewish School of Medicine. "In accordance with the pattern seen with many other diseases, we found that patients with lower incomes were more likely to present with more advanced disease than those with higher incomes."

A total of 243 patients were enrolled in the study. Socioeconomic status was measured by zip code-based median annual household income, and New York Heart Association Functional Class (NYHA-FC) was assessed at the patients' initial evaluation. Patients were divided by income into Group A (median income 30,000-70,000 dollars per year) and Group B (median income greater than 70,000 dollars per year). Functional class at presentation increased, indicating greater disease severity, as median income decreased. At initial presentation, patients in Group A were NYHA-FC I + II (n=23, 25.6%), NYHA-FC III (n=53, 58.9%), and NYHA-FC IV (n=14, 15.6%), while those in Group B were NYHA-FC I+II (n=62, 40.5%), NYHA-FC III (n=77, 50.3%) and NYHA-FC IV (n=14, 9.2%). The relationship between income group and NYHA Functional Class at initial evaluation was significant, (p<0.04, chi-square test). Study limitations included the small study sample, which was from one pulmonary hypertension clinic in greater New York City. To address these issues, Dr. Cardenas-Garcia's group is currently conducting a multicenter study in order to verify these initial findings.

"Our study indicates that patients with pulmonary hypertension with lower incomes have more advanced disease at initial presentation, which may result in poorer outcomes," said Dr. Cardenas-Garcia. "These results add to a large body of evidence showing that socioeconomic status affects access to health care and the health of individuals."


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Thoracic Society (ATS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Poorer patients present with more advanced pulmonary hypertension." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519170807.htm>.
American Thoracic Society (ATS). (2014, May 19). Poorer patients present with more advanced pulmonary hypertension. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519170807.htm
American Thoracic Society (ATS). "Poorer patients present with more advanced pulmonary hypertension." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519170807.htm (accessed September 4, 2015).

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