Health Watch: Heart Disease Treatment

Heart disease doesn't discriminate but it appears that treatment may. A large new study says black patients are less likely than white patients to receive potentially life saving treatments.

lawrence williams history of heart problems started in 2001.:05(sot-lawrence williams jr./heart patient)they put me in triage right away and before i knew it i was laying on a gurney and the doctor was telling me i was having a heart attack.:09(file)to open a blocked artery surgeons performed an angioplasty.six years later another blockage was found and today he s recovering from bypass surgery.with lawrence all the right procedures were done.. But according to new research that s not alwaysthe case for black people.a new study in the journal of the american medical association found black heart patients were about 30 percent less likely than white heart patients to receive potentially life saving procedures.:28(standup: dr.sean kenniff/cbs news/miami, fl)the risk of death after one year was also higher for black patients.what the study doesn t tell us is why.the patients analyzed all had medicare so insurance coverage didn t play role. :10(sot-rev.jacques andre degraff/social justice activist)"i think the attitudes in medical schools and the ama need to see this as a major problem." :06reverand jacques degraff. Who works on equality in healthcare says black patients may have lower expectations going in.and he believes there s a bigger problem at play.:10(sot-rev.jacques andre degraff/social justice activist)we are still in a bi- forcated system where there is a double standard for some parts of our community." :04saint luke s-roosevelt s daniel swistel believes there s also another factor involved. :04(sot-dr.daniel swistel /st. Luke s-roosevelt)i think in general there may be a lack of service availability to the african american population." :09whatever the reason everyone agrees that changes need to be made so everyone get equal sean kenniff, cbs