Things to Ask Your Real Estate Agent: Proximity to a Cardiac Care Center Greatly Impacts Survival Rate

By Jacqueline Katz

Research published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology indicates that distance from a cardiac catheterization facility has a great impact on the survival rates of patients with acute cardiac syndrome (ACS) and cardiogenic shock (CS). The study pulled from a sample size of over four hundred patients living in Nova Scotia, Canada that were diagnosed with ACS and CS.

ACS is an umbrella term that covers a range of cardiac diseases, the most common being myocardial infarction, or heart attack. And, patients hospitalized with ACS are at high risk for CS, which is often triggered by an acute myocardial infarction; CS is often fatal without medical intervention. Both conditions require immediate medical attention and invasive cardiac treatment, such as percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), which is a sort of reperfusion technique. However, there is only one institution in Nova Scotia able to provide such care.

The commute has proved to be more than simply an inconvenience for the majority of Nova Scotia residents that live in rural communities. The mortality rate among the patients (three hundred plus) with direct access to invasive cardiac treatment was approximately half that of the 109 patients who lacked access.

And, while ACS complicated by CS is not highly prevalent in Nova Scotia – with an incidence at the start of data collection of 6.3% falling to an incidence of 2.9% at the end of the five-year study – these results are especially relevant to populations at risk for ACS and may, consequently, steer their life choices accordingly.


Elsevier. "Living too far from advanced cardiac care decreases your odds of survival: Patients in Nova Scotia who are farther away from Halifax have higher mortality, according to a new study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2018. <>.