Heart attack gap for the homeless

Homeless people who are admitted to the hospital for heart attacks are likely to get less treatment than the general population, a Mayo Clinic study finds.

They’re also more likely to be readmitted.

The study, published last week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, examined in-hospital outcomes and 30-day readmission rates for nearly 4,000 homeless patients from among a total of more than 1.5 million people admitted for heart attacks, a Mayo Clinic news release explained. The researchers used 2015-16 data from the National Readmission DataBase.

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Compared to the larger group, the homeless patients were less likely to receive angiography or revascularization, the researchers found. However, they spent more time in the hospital, on average, than others who suffered heart attacks.

Nonetheless, more than one in five homeless heart attack patients were readmitted within 30 days of being discharged, compared to one in 10 in the rest of the population, they reported.

Minnesota has 3rd pediatric flu death

Even as attention focuses on COVID-19, influenza remains widespread in Minnesota, the state Department of Health reports.

The good news is that the numbers are declining. The bad news is that the state had its third pediatric flu death of the season, according to the report released last week covering the week ending March 14.

The number of hospitalizations that week was 177 compared with 326 the week before, although the former number is a preliminary figure. Nine of the week’s hospitalizations were in Northeastern Minnesota, bringing the total for the flu season to 206, or 5% of the state’s total. To date, 121 people have died from influenza in Minnesota this flu season.


  • During this season of self-isolation, virtual recovery support options are available for people affected by substance use disorder, the Minnesota Recovery Connection announced. Recovery support services are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and recovery meetings are available by phone after hours and on weekends. More information is at minnesotarecovery.org, or call 612-584-4158.

  • Nystrom & Associates, a mental health provider with an office in Duluth, is seeing most of its patients via telehealth as of March 18. Injection clinic appointments and new patient appointments still will be done in person, the agency added. No one who is ill or has been near someone with COVID-19 within the past two weeks should make an appointment.

  • These are not normal times for NORML. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws issued an advisory urging marijuana users to abandon the practice of “sharing a joint.” Don’t share bowls, bongs, pipes or vape pens, either, NORML advised. It should be noted that recreational marijuana use currently is not legal in either Minnesota or Wisconsin.