Study: US Physicians May Be Overusing Cardiac Catheterization

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Physicians in New York state utilize cardiac catheterization procedures twice as often as their counterparts in nearby Ontario, suggesting the U.S. physicians may be overusing this procedure, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers analyzed case studies of 18,114 patients in New York and 54,933 patients in Ontario who underwent elective cardiac catheterization and their instance of observed obstructive coronary artery disease.

Results showed the rate of obstructive CAD was significantly lower among the New York patients (30.4 percent) than among the Ontario patients (44.8 percent). Additionally, only 19.5 percent of patients undergoing cardiac catheterization in New York had a greater than 50 percent chance of having obstructive CAD, compared with 41 percent of the patients in Ontario.

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