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Racial Disparities in Heart Failure Treatment Found

Blacks, Hispanics less likely to receive cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic patients eligible to receive cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator (CRT-D) are less likely to receive therapy than white patients, and white patients are more likely to receive CRT-D outside of published guidelines, according to a report in the March issue of Heart Rhythm.

Steven A. Farmer, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined usage of CRT-D based on race and ethnicity. Two analyses were performed: among 22,205 patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator or a CRT-D; and among 27,165 patients who received a CRT-D ouside of published guidelines.

The researchers found that 79 percent of patients eligible for a CRT-D received one, with black and Hispanic patients being less likely to receive a CRT-D than white patients (odds ratio 0.84 and 0.83, respectively). Although many patients received a CRT-D outside of established guidelines, 69.9 percent met all three eligibility criteria, and black and Hispanic patients were more likely to meet all three criteria than white patients (odds ratio 1.18 and 1.17, respectively).

"Our findings suggest systematic racial/ethnic differences in the treatment of patients with advanced heart failure," Farmer and colleagues conclude.

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