Why Is A 79-Year-Old More Likely To Get Needed Open Heart Surgery Than An 80-Year-Old? Blame Psychology
Researchers have found that 80 seems to be the threshold in doctors’ minds for when a patient shouldn’t undergo open-heart surgery.
Stat: How Psychology Of A $4.99 Price Tag May Affect Doctors’ Decisions
Health economists aren’t generally known for their humor. There’s something about Medicaid that’s just deeply unfunny. Make a joke, and the punch line may well be deadly. As one quip goes: What do affordable health care and sarcasm have in common? Most Americans just don’t get it. (Boodman, 2/19)
The Associated Press: 80 Is Not The New 70: Age May Bias Heart Care, Study Finds
People are more likely to buy things when prices end in 99 cents rather than rounded up to the next dollar, or cars with mileage under 1,000 instead of past that mark. Now researchers say something similar might be happening with age perception and heart surgery. A U.S. study out Wednesday finds that heart attack patients who turned 80 within the previous two weeks were less likely to get bypass surgery than those who were two weeks shy of that birthday, even though the age difference is less than a month. (2/19)
Reuters: Turning 80 Lowers Odds Heart Attack Patients Will Get Bypass Surgery
That, in turn, translated to a higher death rate among the 80-year-olds over the 30 and 60 days following their heart attacks, according to the report in The New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors “are arbitrarily classifying the two groups of patients as young versus old instead of treating them as two groups who are basically the same age,” coauthor Dr. Anupam Jena, an associate professor of healthcare policy and medicine at Harvard University Medical School in Boston, told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. (2/19)
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