CDC Finds Big Geographic Variation in Hospitalization of Elderly Heart Disease Patients

March 1, 2010
by John Reichard
Congressional Quarterly

The rate of hospitalization for heart disease varies sharply among Medicare patients depending on where they live, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.

In what it called the first-ever such analysis based on county-level data, the public health agency said that the rates were highest in counties located primarily in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, Texas and Oklahoma.

CDC officials said the findings could be used to target policies and programs to prevent heart disease to communities with the highest hospitalization rates.