Uninsured less likely to get heart meds
In a group of about 61,000 U.S. residents, researchers writing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that those without any health insurance were between 6 percent and 12 percent less likely than people with either public or private insurance to be prescribed drugs that are considered standard care for heat disease.
"There is some different of treatment. It only applies - interestingly enough - to uninsured patients," said senior author Paul Chan, of Saint Luke's Mid American Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri.
In the past, studies have found that uninsured U.S. residents have worse health outcomes compared to the insured. They're also less likely to get screenings and preventive care - possibly because they don't often go to a doctor.
Less is known, though, about uninsured people who do go to doctors and whether they receive worse care than insured people.
For the study, Chan and his colleagues used data from 2009 on 60,814 heart patients at 30 doctors' offices around the United States.
Of those patients, about 9 percent were uninsured, 71 percent had private insurance, and 20 percent had public insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid.
The researchers looked to see which patients received the recommended medications for their heart conditions and whether the treatment they got was linked to their insurance status.
Overall, patients with public or
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