NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are Black-White Mortality Rates Converging? Acute Myocardial Infarction in the United States, 1993-2010

Amitabh Chandra, Tyler Hoppenfeld, Jonathan Skinner

Chapter in NBER book Insights in the Economics of Aging (2017), David A. Wise, editor (p. 205 - 222)
Conference held April 30-May 2, 2015
Published in March 2017 by University of Chicago Press
© 2017 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series - The Economics of Aging

Racial and socioeconomic disparities are pervasive in U.S. health care. Recent research on trends in disparities has often shown a reduction in the magnitude of disparities in treatments. In this paper, we consider trends in racial disparities with a focus on health outcomes for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in the elderly population. We find an overall decline in mortality between 1999 and 2010, but it was not associated with a reduction either in mortality differentials within hospitals, nor did we observe a significant reduction in mortality disparities associated with black AMI patients being admitted to hospitals with disproportionately high risk-adjusted mortality rates for whites. While there was some hint of a reduction in racial disparities between the middle (1999–2005) and late (2006–10) period, the improvement is very modest, and additional years of data would be necessary to discern whether there was a real long-term improvement.

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