Golden, Colo. (June 25, 2007) -- Women treated for cardiovascular disease at the nation's best- performing hospitals have a 39 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate when compared with women at the nation's poorest-performing hospitals, according to the fourth annual HealthGrades Womens Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals study, released today.
The study also found that, for women, the largest quality gaps between the best-performing and poorest-performing hospitals were in heart failure and interventional cardiology procedures. Compared to poorly performing hospitals, the best-performing hospitals had a 46 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality for heart failure and a 44 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality for interventional cardiology procedures.
Overall, risk-adjusted mortality for cardiovascular disease for women improved an average of 8.7 percent from 2003 through 2005.
"Cardiovascular disease is the nation's number one killer of women in the U.S., so while we are gratified to see an overall improvement in mortality rates, we are concerned that there still exists such a wide gap in hospitals' treatment of CVD when comparing the top performers and others," said Samantha Collier, MD, HealthGrades chief medical officer. "We know we can do better, especially for women hospitalized for stroke or a heart attack, which make up 60 percent of the potentially preventable deaths in the study."
In addition to identifying trends in cardiovascular care, the annual HealthGrades Women's Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals study provides women's health and maternity care quality ratings for 2,100 hospitals in the 19 states that publish hospital outcomes data, which are available free to consumers at www.healthgrades.com.
Today's HealthGrades study analyzed the following six procedures and diagnoses for each hospitals female patients: