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Death rate is lower in high risk heart patients at US teaching hospitals during cardiology conferences

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7858 (Published 30 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7858
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

High risk patients with heart failure and cardiac arrest who are admitted to major US teaching hospitals during national cardiology meetings, when some of the cardiology staff would be expected to be away, had a lower 30 day mortality rate than comparable patients admitted in the weeks before and after the conferences, a study has found.

“One explanation for these findings is that the intensity of care provided during meeting dates is lower and that for high risk patients with cardiovascular disease, the harms of this care may unexpectedly outweigh the benefits,” the researchers wrote.1

About 13 000 to 16 000 healthcare professionals attend the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, and roughly the same number attend that of the American College of Cardiology.

The study’s lead author was Anupam B Jena, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. Jena and colleagues …

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