Open Access Research article

Neighborhood socioeconomic status, Medicaid coverage and medical management of myocardial infarction: Atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC) community surveillance

Randi E Foraker1*, Kathryn M Rose2, Eric A Whitsel2, Chirayath M Suchindran3, Joy L Wood2 and Wayne D Rosamond2

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Epidemiology, The Ohio State University, 320 West 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

2 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, 27599, USA

3 Department of Biostatistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 135 Dauer Drive, Chapel Hill, 27599, USA

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:632  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-632

Published: 21 October 2010



Pharmacologic treatments are efficacious in reducing post-myocardial infarction (MI) morbidity and mortality. The potential influence of socioeconomic factors on the receipt of pharmacologic therapy has not been systematically examined, even though healthcare utilization likely influences morbidity and mortality post-MI. This study aims to investigate the association between socioeconomic factors and receipt of evidence-based treatments post-MI in a community surveillance setting.


We evaluated the association of census tract-level neighborhood household income (nINC) and Medicaid coverage with pharmacologic treatments (aspirin, beta [β]-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors; optimal therapy, defined as receipt of two or more treatments) received during hospitalization or at discharge among 9,608 MI events in the ARIC community surveillance study (1993-2002). Prevalence ratios (PR, 95% CI), adjusted for the clustering of hospitalized MI events within census tracts and within patients, were estimated using Poisson regression.


Seventy-eight percent of patients received optimal therapy. Low nINC was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving β-blockers (0.93, 0.87-0.98) and a higher likelihood of receiving ACE inhibitors (1.13, 1.04-1.22), compared to high nINC. Patients with Medicaid coverage were less likely to receive aspirin (0.92, 0.87-0.98), compared to patients without Medicaid coverage. These findings were independent of other key covariates.


nINC and Medicaid coverage may be two of several socioeconomic factors influencing the complexities of medical care practice patterns.