Does financial hardship associate with abnormal quantitative myocardial perfusion and major adverse cardiovascular event?

Danai Kitkungvan, Nils P. Johnson, Linh Bui, Monica B. Patel, Amanda E. Roby, Mary Haynie, Richard Kirkeeide, Susan Hood, K. Lance Gould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Data on impact of financial hardship on coronary artery disease (CAD) remain incomplete. Methods: Consecutive subjects referred for clinical rest/stress cardiac positron emission tomography (PET) were enrolled. Financial hardship is defined as patients’ inability to pay for their out-of-pocket expense for cardiac PET. Abnormal cardiac PET is defined as at least moderate relative perfusion defects at stress involving > 10% of the left ventricle or global coronary flow reserve ≤ 2.0. Patients were followed for major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) comprised of all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and late coronary revascularization. Results: We analyzed a total of 4173 patients with mean age 65.6 ± 11.3 years, 72.2% men, and 93.6% reported as having medical insurance. Of these, 504 (12.1%) patients had financial hardship. On multivariable analysis, financial hardship associated with abnormal cardiac PET (odds ratio 1.377, p = 0.004) and MACE (hazard ratio 1.432, p = 0.010) and its association with MACE was mostly through direct effect with small proportion mediated by abnormal cardiac PET or known CAD. Conclusion: Among patients referred for cardiac rest/stress PET, financial hardship independently associates with myocardial perfusion abnormalities and MACE; however, its effect on MACE is largely not mediated by abnormal myocardial perfusion or known CAD suggesting distinct impact of financial hardship beyond traditional risk factors and CAD that deserves attention and intervention to effectively reduced adverse outcomes. Having medical insurance does not consistently protect from financial hardship and a more preventive-oriented restructuring may provide better outcomes at lower cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1528-1539
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • CAD
  • Diagnostic and prognosticapplication
  • Diseases/processes
  • Modalities
  • Myocardial blood flow
  • Outcomes
  • PET
  • Tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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