Curr Opin Cardiol. 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0000000000000854. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Despite advances in medical and device-based therapies for advanced heart failure as well as public policy, disparities by race/ethnicity persist in heart failure clinical outcomes. The purpose of this review is to describe disparities in outcomes by race–ethnicity in patients after receipt of heart transplantation and left ventricular assist device (LVAD), and the current understanding of factors contributing to these disparities.
RECENT FINDINGS: The proportion of black and Latinx patients receiving advanced heart failure therapies continues to rise, and they have worse hemodynamic profiles at the time of referral for heart transplantation and LVAD. Black patients have lower rates of survival after heart transplantation, in part because of higher rates of cellular and humoral rejection that may be mediated through unique gene pathways, and increased risk for allosensitization and de-novo donor-specific antibodies. Factors that have previously been cited as reasons for worse outcomes in race–ethnic minorities, including psychosocial risk and lower SES, may not be as strongly correlated with outcomes after LVAD.
SUMMARY: Black and Latinx patients are sicker at the time of referral for advanced heart failure therapies. Despite higher psychosocial risk factors among race–ethnic minorities, outcomes after LVAD appear to be similar to white patients. Black patients continue to have lower posttransplant survival, because of a complex interplay of immunologic susceptibility, clinical and socioeconomic factors. No single factor accounts for the disparities in clinical outcomes for race–ethnic minorities, and thus consideration of these components together is critical in management of these patients.