Black Men Have Lower Mortality than Whites in Veterans Hospitals
African-American men at Veterans Affairs hospitals have "significantly lower" mortality rates than white men, according to a new study published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. The New York Post reports that black men suffering from "common ailments" such as diabetes, heart failure and chronic lung disease were 25% less likely than white men to die within the first 30 days of entering the hospital, and 20% less likely to die after six months. The results of the study "contras[t] sharply" with past studies suggesting that "economic factors" lead whites to receive better health care than blacks. Study director Dr. Ashish Jha called the results "surprising" and a "mystery" because black and white veterans have "equal access" to VA hospital care. "It was heartening to see that [blacks] didn't do any worse, even though we can't explain why they did better," he said (Soltis, New York Post, 1/17).