Publications by authors named "Peter N Nemetz"

5 Publications

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Trends in Coronary Atherosclerosis: A Tale of Two Population Subgroups.

Am J Med 2016 Mar 6;129(3):307-14. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Electronic address:

Background: We previously investigated trends in subclinical coronary artery disease and associated risk factors among autopsied non-elderly adults who died from nonnatural causes. Although grade of atherosclerosis declined from 1981 through 2009, the trend was nonlinear, ending in 1995, concurrent with increasing obesity/diabetes in this population. The previous study used linear regression and examined trends for all 4 major epicardial coronary arteries combined. The present investigation of coronary artery disease trends for the period 1995 through 2012 was prompted by a desire for more detailed examination of more recent coronary artery disease trends in light of reports that the epidemics of obesity and diabetes have slowed and are perhaps ending.

Methods: This population-based series of cross-sectional investigations identified all Olmsted County, Minnesota residents aged 16-64 years who died 1995 through 2012 (N = 2931). For decedents with nonnatural manner of death, pathology reports were reviewed for grade of atherosclerosis assigned each major epicardial coronary artery. Using logistic regression, we estimated calendar-year trends in grade (unadjusted and age- and sex-adjusted) for each artery, initially as an ordinal measure (range, 0-4); then, based on evidence of nonproportional odds, as a dichotomous variable (any atherosclerosis, yes/no) and as an ordinal measure for persons with atherosclerosis (range, 1-4).

Results: Of 474 nonnatural deaths, 453 (96%) were autopsied; 426 (90%) had coronary stenosis graded. In the ordinal-logistic model for trends in coronary artery disease grade (range, 0-4), the proportional odds assumption did not hold. In subsequent analysis as a dichotomous outcome (grades 0 vs 1-4), each artery exhibited a significant temporal decline in the proportion with any atherosclerosis. Conversely, for subjects with coronary artery disease grade 1-4, age- and sex-adjusted ordinal regression revealed no change over time in 2 arteries and statistically significant temporal increases in severity in 2 arteries.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that efforts to prevent coronary artery disease onset have been relatively successful. However, statistically significant increases in the grade of atherosclerosis in 2 arteries among persons with coronary artery disease may be indicative of a major public health challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4755914PMC
March 2016

Trends in Coronary Atherosclerosis: A Tale of Two Population Subgroups.

Am J Med 2016 Mar 6;129(3):307-14. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Electronic address:

Background: We previously investigated trends in subclinical coronary artery disease and associated risk factors among autopsied non-elderly adults who died from nonnatural causes. Although grade of atherosclerosis declined from 1981 through 2009, the trend was nonlinear, ending in 1995, concurrent with increasing obesity/diabetes in this population. The previous study used linear regression and examined trends for all 4 major epicardial coronary arteries combined. The present investigation of coronary artery disease trends for the period 1995 through 2012 was prompted by a desire for more detailed examination of more recent coronary artery disease trends in light of reports that the epidemics of obesity and diabetes have slowed and are perhaps ending.

Methods: This population-based series of cross-sectional investigations identified all Olmsted County, Minnesota residents aged 16-64 years who died 1995 through 2012 (N = 2931). For decedents with nonnatural manner of death, pathology reports were reviewed for grade of atherosclerosis assigned each major epicardial coronary artery. Using logistic regression, we estimated calendar-year trends in grade (unadjusted and age- and sex-adjusted) for each artery, initially as an ordinal measure (range, 0-4); then, based on evidence of nonproportional odds, as a dichotomous variable (any atherosclerosis, yes/no) and as an ordinal measure for persons with atherosclerosis (range, 1-4).

Results: Of 474 nonnatural deaths, 453 (96%) were autopsied; 426 (90%) had coronary stenosis graded. In the ordinal-logistic model for trends in coronary artery disease grade (range, 0-4), the proportional odds assumption did not hold. In subsequent analysis as a dichotomous outcome (grades 0 vs 1-4), each artery exhibited a significant temporal decline in the proportion with any atherosclerosis. Conversely, for subjects with coronary artery disease grade 1-4, age- and sex-adjusted ordinal regression revealed no change over time in 2 arteries and statistically significant temporal increases in severity in 2 arteries.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that efforts to prevent coronary artery disease onset have been relatively successful. However, statistically significant increases in the grade of atherosclerosis in 2 arteries among persons with coronary artery disease may be indicative of a major public health challenge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4755914PMC
March 2016

Recent trends in the prevalence of coronary disease: a population-based autopsy study of nonnatural deaths.

Arch Intern Med 2008 Feb;168(3):264-70

Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Background: Despite increases in obesity and diabetes mellitus, mortality caused by coronary disease continues to decline. Recent trends in coronary disease prevalence are unknown.

Methods: There were 3237 deaths among Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents aged 16 through 64 years during the 1981-2004 period. Of the 515 due to accident, suicide, homicide, or a manner that could not be determined, 425 individuals (82%) had coronary anatomy graded. Pathology reports were reviewed for the grade of coronary disease (range, 0-5) assigned each of 4 arteries: left anterior descending (LAD), left circumflex (LCx), right coronary artery (RCA), and left main artery (LMA). High-grade disease was defined as more than a 75% reduction in cross-sectional luminal area (grade >or=4) in any of LAD, LCx, or RCA or more than 50% reduction (grade >or=3) in LMA. Evidence of any disease was defined as a grade higher than 0 in any artery. Calendar-year trends were analyzed as linear and nonlinear functions.

Results: Over the full period (1981-2004), 8.2% of the 425 individuals had high-grade disease, and 83% had evidence of any disease. Age- and sex-adjusted regression analyses revealed temporal declines over the full period (1981-2004) for high-grade disease, any disease, and grade of coronary disease. Declines in the grade of coronary disease ended after 1995 (P
Conclusions: Declines in coronary disease prevalence overall (during 1981-2004) reinforce arguments that any increased prevalence resulting from improved survival among persons with disease was offset by reductions in disease incidence. Study findings suggest that declines in coronary disease prevalence have ended. The question of whether recent trends are attributable to increasing obesity and diabetes mellitus awaits further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2007.79DOI Listing
February 2008

Closing the Loop: Facilitating the Use of Autopsy Information in Medical Decision Making and Managed Care.

Authors:
Peter N Nemetz

Biomed Inform Insights 2008 23;1:21-8. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Strategy and Business Economics, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia.

This paper advances the somewhat paradoxical hypothesis that the emergence of managed care which threatens to accelerate the decline of the autopsy may, in fact, offer an opportunity for its re-emergence as an important tool of quality and cost control. A simplified autopsy-based management information structure is proposed to close the loop where information currently gleaned from the autopsy is frequently unused or underutilized in medical decision making and managed care.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4943042PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/bii.s899DOI Listing
July 2016

Attitudes toward the autopsy--an 8-state survey.

MedGenMed 2006 Sep 21;8(3):80. Epub 2006 Sep 21.

Strategy and Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Context: National autopsy rates have declined for several decades, and the reasons for such decline remain contentious.

Objective: To elicit the opinions of one group of crucial decision makers as to the reasons for this decline and possible modes of reversal.

Design: A 2-part survey, composed of multiple choice questions and questions requesting specific data on autopsy rates and costs.

Setting: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Participants: Hospital administrators within the 8 states.

Main Outcome Measures: Six-point survey scale relating to reasons for autopsy decline and possible remedial measures, as well as estimates of autopsy rates and costs.

Results: The response rate was 43% and the median autopsy rate was 2.4% (mean 6.1%). The median cost of autopsy was estimated at $852 (mean $1275). Larger hospitals were associated with higher autopsy rates than smaller hospitals (9.6% vs 4.0%), and teaching hospitals had a significantly higher autopsy rate than nonteaching institutions (11.4% vs 3.8%). Autopsy rates also varied by type of hospital control, with federal government hospitals having the highest autopsy rate at 15.1%. Sixty-six percent of all respondents agreed that current autopsy rates were adequate. Of the respondents, the highest percent (86%) agreed that improved diagnostics contributed to the decline in autopsies, and the highest percent (78%) agreed that direct payment to pathologists for autopsies under the physician fee schedule might lead to an increase in autopsies.

Conclusions: Our data support the conclusion that the decline in autopsy performance is multifactorial, although the variable that dominates in this analysis is the contentious perception that improved diagnostic technology renders the autopsy redundant. The rate of autopsy is conditional, at least in part, on individual hospital characteristics such as large hospital size, teaching status, and federal ownership. Three underlying factors may explain these associations: resources, mission, and case mix. An important factor in declining autopsy rates appears to be the changing economic landscape, with its increased focus on cost control within both the public and private healthcare sectors.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781284PMC
September 2006
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