VA Heart Attack Care
April 17, 2003
News & Links

America's Veterans

According to a VA study released last week, heart attack victims who went to Veterans Affairs hospitals during 1997 through 1999 had higher death rates than Medicare patients treated in civilian hospitals. The study also found that the VA patients were less likely than Medicare patients to have procedures such as angioplasty, angiography or surgery. Furthermore, the study found that 50.2 percent of them who had heart attacks in 1997 died three years later, compared with 40.5 percent of Medicare patients. Death percentages were also higher after two years and one year. The study involved some 4,000 heart attack victims annually from 1997-99. VA Secretary Anthony Principi said immediate action is required and will be taken. He ordered a review of cardiac care at all VA facilities, called for modernization of high-volume sites, and ordered that 24/7 care be available for heart attack victims at VA facilities. To view the entire report please visit: