By Michel H.E. Hermans, MD
An interesting article in JAMA Internal Medicine (February 2015) by doctors from Massachusetts, Maryland and California (A.B. Jena, M.D. lead author) analyzed mortality and treatment differences in patients who were admitted with cardiovascular pathology during dates of national cardiology meetings and compared these with the situation when the physicians were at the hospital. They found that high-risk patients with heart failure and cardiac arrest had a lower 30-day mortality rate when a national cardiology meeting was taking place. Fewer percutaneous interventions were performed during these meetings without an effect on mortality in patients with an acute myocardial infarction. Although the authors did not state this, one might (cynically?) think that treatment may have been excessive when the (interventional) cardiologists were "at home": perhaps bad for the patient and certainly not good for the cost of health care.