In Italy, cardiovascular diseases represent an important cause of disability in the elderly. Therefore, it is necessary to provide effective and appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to all the interested subjects. The aim of our study was to estimate attitudes and behaviors of health personnel and representatives of citizen associations toward the following procedures: thrombolysis, coronary artery bypass, pacemaker implantation, and aortic valve replacement. METHODS: Within an Italian multicenter study on the relation between age and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, a questionnaire was administered to a stratified sample of medical doctors (cardiologists, heart surgeons, geriatrics, internists), general practitioners in order to show any existing discrimination in care access as regards age, sex and race of patients. RESULTS: The sample included 283 subjects (73.8% men, median age 47 years). In 53% age was a discriminating factor in the distribution of the therapeutic procedures, with higher statistically significant percentages reported by geriatrics and internists (62.5 and 58.6%, respectively) and lower ones by cardiologists and heart surgeons (48.2 and 41.5%, respectively) (chi2 = 29.592, p < 0.0001). The influence of the shortest expectancy of life in the elderly is the reason for discrimination in 19.6% of the participants. Race and gender do not represent a discriminating factor for 81 and 92.1% of responders, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The results of our study highlight the presence of different attitudes among health personnel about the distribution of cardiological procedures as regards patients' age, in particular when > 75 years old. An easier access should be given to these patients and this may represent the objective of research aimed at developing better treatments for elderly people.
Atteggiamenti e comportamenti nei confronti degli interventi cardiologici: risultati di uno studio multicentrico in Italia / Boccia, A; Damiani, G; D'Errico, Marcello Mario; Farinaro, E; Gregorio, P; Nante, N; Santé, P; Siliquini, R; Ricciardi, G; ARPIC Collaborative, Group. - In: GIORNALE ITALIANO DI CARDIOLOGIA. - ISSN 1972-6481. - STAMPA. - 7:1(2006), pp. 56-61.