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Impact of age, gender and indigenous status on access to diagnostic coronary angiography for patients presenting with non-ST segment elevation acute coronary syndromes in Australia


  • Funding: None.
  • Conflict of interest: None.


Yvette L Roe, Public Health Research Group, Sansom Institute for Health Research, Playford Building, Level 4, Room 15, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia.



Using Australian guidelines for management of acute coronary syndromes, we investigated the proportion of high-risk patients enrolled in the Acute Coronary Syndromes Prospective Audit registry who received a coronary angiogram. A prospective nationwide multicentre registry involving 39 Australian hospitals was used. The study cohort were patients with high-risk clinical features without ST segment elevation (n = 1948) admitted from emergency departments between 1 November 2005 and 31 July 2007. Eighty nine per cent of patients with ST segment elevation myocardial infarction and only 53% of eligible patients with high-risk acute coronary syndromes with no ST elevation received a diagnostic angiogram. Increasing age was associated with lower rates of angiography; a high-risk patient at the age of ≥70 years was 19% less likely to receive an angiogram than one at the age of <70 years (risk ratio (RR) = 0.81 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.76, 0.76). Women were 26% less likely than men to receive an angiogram (RR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.65, 0.83). The adjusted RR from the multivariate analysis suggests that a patient at the age of ≥70 years was 35% less likely to receive an angiogram than one at the age of <70 years (RR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.60, 0.73), and that women were 13% less likely than men to receive an angiogram (RR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.80, 0.96). Indigenous patients were as likely to access angiography as eligible non-indigenous patients (RR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.85, 1.25). There is underinvestigation of high-risk patients without ST segment elevation in Australian hospitals, particularly for women and older patients. Indigenous patients are younger and have poorer risk profiles, and represent a group that would benefit from greater investment in prevention strategies.