Higher risk patients (including the elderly) receive more conservative therapy for cardiovascular diseases, even though the relative benefits of therapy tend to be greater. The perceived risk of radiocontrast-associated nephrotoxicity may influence the provision of coronary angiography and subsequent revascularization, especially among individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The aim of this study was to determine whether there is excessive variation in the provision of coronary angiography after acute myocardial infarction on the basis of the presence of CKD and whether there is an association between angiography and mortality. Elderly (age 65 to 89 yr) individuals with acute myocardial infarction from the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project were classified by the presence or absence of CKD (defined as a baseline serum creatinine of 1.5 to 5.0 mg/dl). In CKD patients, the propensity to undergo coronary angiography was determined and the effect of coronary angiography on mortality was estimated using multivariable logistic regression and stratification. Mortality was significantly higher with CKD (52.6 versus 26.4%). Fewer patients with CKD underwent coronary angiography (25.2 versus 46.8%) despite the observation that a similar proportion of patients were deemed appropriate for angiography by standard, published criteria. When limiting the analysis to CKD patients who are considered appropriate, the multivariable estimate of the odds of death associated with coronary angiography was 0.58 (95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.67). With adjustment using propensity scores, the odds ratio averaged across propensity score quintiles was 0.62 (95% confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.70). Results were qualitatively similar when patients were stratified by CKD stage IV (estimated GFR <30 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)). There is a large relative decrease in utilization of coronary angiography among patients with CKD. Alteration in practice because of an aversion to the risk of radiocontrast-associated nephrotoxicity ("renalism") is inappropriate, even if the true relative benefit of invasive strategies is a fraction of what is estimated here.
View details for DOI 10.1097/01.ASN.0000135969.33773.0B
View details for Web of Science ID 000223668200025
View details for PubMedID 15339996