OBJECTIVES: We sought to describe the differences in the process of care and clinical outcomes between Hispanics and non- Hispanics receiving thrombolytic therapy for myocardial infarction (MI). BACKGROUND: Hispanics are the fastest growing and second largest minority in the U.S. but most cardiovascular disease data on Hispanics has been derived from retrospective studies and vital statistics. Despite their higher cardiovascular risk-factor profile, better outcomes after MI have been reported in Hispanics. METHODS: We studied the baseline characteristics, resource use and outcomes of 734 Hispanics and 27,054 non- Hispanics treated for MI in the GUSTO-I and -III trials. The primary end point of both trials was 30-day mortality. RESULTS: Hispanics were younger, shorter, lighter and more often diabetic and began thrombolysis 9 min later, compared with non-Hispanics. Measures of socioeconomic status (educational level, employment and health insurance) were lower among Hispanics. Fewer Hispanics than non-Hispanics underwent in-hospital angiography (70% vs. 74%, p = 0.013) or bypass surgery (11% vs. 13.5%, p = 0.04). Hispanics received more angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and less calcium-channel blockers, prophylactic lidocaine and inotropic agents. Mortality at 30 days and at one year did not differ significantly between Hispanics and non- Hispanics (6.4% vs. 6.7% and 9.0% vs. 9.7%, respectively). We noted no interactions between thrombolytic strategy and Hispanic status on major outcomes (30-day death, stroke and major bleeding). CONCLUSIONS: The care of Hispanics with MI differed slightly from that of non-Hispanics. Nevertheless, these differences in care did not affect long-term outcomes.
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