Crucial Heart-Disease Devices Benefit People of Color
Racial and ethnic minorities who get implantable devices to treat heart failure derive the same survival benefit as white patients, new research shows. But non-white patients are getting the devices at a much lower rate.
The study, one of the largest to compare the survival benefits of the devices by race and ethnicity, looked at 15,000 patients from 167 medical practices across the U.S. The findings are published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Implanatable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices are recommended by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association for all eligible patients.
But previous studies have shown that African-American and Hispanic patients are less likely to get those devices.
In the analysis, which drew on data from the Registry to Improve the Use of Evidence-Based Heart Failure Therapies in the Outpatient Setting (IMPROVE HF), the researchers looked at the health of the 15,177 heart failure patients over two years to measure.
They found that ICD device therapy reduced the likelihood of death during by 36 percent, with no significant differences by race or ethnicity. They also found a 45 percent reduction in mortality with CRT therapy, with the same absence of significant differences in benefits between different racial and ethnic groups.
“This is among the largest studies to address the question of race- and ethnicity-specific benefits with ICD or CRT therapies in real-world practice,” said senior author Dr. Gregg C. Fonarow, who holds the Eliot Corday Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and Science and directs the Ahmanson–UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Our results are a reminder to physicians and patients that this proven life-extending therapy should be offered to all eligible heart failure patients without regard for race or ethnicity.”
More than 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, a condition that puts them at high risk of sudden death.