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Study links insurance and death

  • Baltimore Sun
  • August 16, 2012 - 6:01 PM

Health insurance was a better predictor of survival from health attacks and strokes than race, according to Johns Hopkins researchers who looked at health outcomes in Maryland hospitals.

Specifically, those who did not have coverage were more likely to die in the hospital, even after accounting for race and socioeconomic factors, according to the researchers.

"African Americans living in poor, urban neighborhoods bear a high burden of illnesses and early death, from cardiovascular disease in particular," said Derek Ng, lead author of the study. "Our findings suggested that a lack of health insurance, or being underinsured, is a major cause of insufficient treatment and subsequent premature death."

The study, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, looked at 13,000 patients from three Maryland hospitals treating patients of all income levels. Those who were uninsured had a 31 percent higher risk of early death after a heart attack and a 50 percent higher risk after atherosclerosis than those with private insurance.

BALTIMORE SUN

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