Prior Canadian studies of cardiac procedure rates showed changes over time and regional variability, but more recent Canadian cardiac procedure rates are unknown.
We performed a study using the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease registry to evaluate the temporal trends and geographic distribution of cardiac procedures in Alberta from April 1, 2003 through March 31, 2010. Rates were age- and sex-standardized by means of the 1996 Canadian census.
While the raw number of cardiac catheterizations in Alberta was nearly uniform through the study period, age- and sex-standardized cardiac catheterizations declined from a rate of 480 per 100,000 in 2003 to a rate of 430 per 100,000 in 2010. The percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) rates also declined, from a rate of 186 per 100,000 in 2003 to 170 per 100,000 in 2010. The rates for coronary artery bypass grafts declined from 84 per 100,000 in 2003 to 42 per 100,000 in 2010. There was geographic variability, with northern regions characterized by rates that were higher than the provincial average rates, and southern regions characterized by rates lower than the provincial average.
During the study period, age- and sex-standardized rates of cardiac catheterization and PCI in Alberta declined, reversing previous trends of increasing PCI rates. The rates of coronary artery bypass grafts in Alberta declined significantly, suggesting a change in practice consistent with that seen elsewhere. There are geographic differences in rates of cardiac procedures. These data have implications for other regions of Canada, for which registry data may not be available.