Patients in most deprived areas wait 20% longer for common heart procedure

Posted on 16 April 2018

CHE's latest Policy Briefing written by Giuseppe Moscelli, Luigi Siciliani, Nils Gutacker and Richard Cookson

Angioplasty cover

CHE researchers have shown that waiting times for a common heart procedure are 20% longer for patients living in deprived areas of England compared to patients from more affluent neighbourhoods who attend the same hospital. This waiting time inequality gap was about 50% in the early 2000s, fell to around 10% in 2008, and then started growing again.  

The research looked at trends between 2002 and 2015 in waiting times for coronary angioplasty, a common heart procedure that involves inserting stents – small wire cages — into the coronary artery. Careful statistical adjustments were made for hospital fixed effects as well as gender, age (in ten year bands), number of comorbidities, dummies for the Charlson comorbidity index, number of all emergency admissions in the previous year, and month of admission (to allow for seasonality trends). After making these adjustments, the gap grew to 23% in 2014 but then fell slightly to 19.5% in 2015. It is clear the gap grew between 2008 and 2014. However, we do not know whether the gap continued growing between 2014 and 2015 because there was an unexplained downward shift in 2015 associated with a rise in missing data in deprived neighbourhoods in 2015.

The Full report can be read here: Are angioplasty waiting time inequalities growing again? (PDF  , 1,169kb)
University of York press release 
Methods paper: Journal of Health Economics
Other Policy and Research Briefing papers can be found here