Background: Survivors of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are at increased risk for recurrent cardiac events and tend to use excessive healthcare services, thus resulting in increased costs.
Objectives: To evaluate the disparities in healthcare resource utilization and costs throughout a decade following a non-fatal AMI according to sex and ethnicity groups in Israel.
Methods: A retrospective study included AMI patients hospitalized at Soroka University Medical Center during 2002–2012. Data were obtained from electronic medical records. Post-AMI annual length of hospital stay (LOS); number of visits to the emergency department (ED), primary care facilities, and outpatient consulting clinics; and costs were evaluated and compared according sex and ethnicity groups.
Results: A total of 7685 patients (mean age 65.3 ± 13.6 years) were analyzed: 56.8% Jewish males (JM), 26.6% Jewish females (JF), 12.4% Bedouin males (BM), and 4.2% Bedouin females (BF). During the up-to 10-years follow-up (median 5.8 years), adjusted odds ratios [AdjOR] for utilizations of hospital-associated services were highest among BF (1.628 for LOS; 1.629 for ED visits), whereas AdjOR for utilization of community services was lowest in BF (0.722 for primary clinic, 0.782 for ambulatory, and 0.827 for consultant visits), compared with JM. The total cost of BF was highest among the study groups (AdjOR = 1.589, P < 0.01).
Conclusions: Long-term use of hospital-associated healthcare services and total costs were higher among Bedouins (especially BF), whereas utilization of ambulatory services was lower in these groups. Culturally and economically sensitive programs optimizing healthcare resources utilization and costs is warranted.