Black heart failure patients less likely to get devices and transplants they need, study finds

Black heart failure patients less likely to get devices and transplants they need, study finds

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Key Facts

  • A study published Wednesday in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure finds that among a group of adults with heart failure, White people were twice as likely as Black people to receive a heart transplant or a ventricular assist device, a mechanical heart pump often used for patients with end-stage heart failure.
  • The data showed that a heart transplantation or a ventricular assist device was performed in 11% of the Black patients compared with 22% of the White patients, although death rates were similar in both: 18% in Black patients and 13% in White patients.
  • “The study confirms what has been known for too long, which is that Black heart failure patients have worse outcomes, and that part of the reason for the worse outcomes is a gradient in the quality of care they are offered,” said Montgomery, who also was not involved in the new research.
  • People should be educated on how to advocate for themselves and ask for options, such as the ventricular assist device, that they might not know about, said Dr. Bessie Young, vice dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion and medical director for the Office of Health Care Equity at UW Medicine.

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