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


There’s growing evidence that Black heart failure patients are less likely to get advanced therapies than White patients.

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 totality of the evidence suggests that we as heart failure providers are perpetuating current inequities,” Dr. Thomas Cascino, the study’s first author and a clinical instructor in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said in a news release. “However, recognizing disparities isn’t enough. As physicians and health care providers, we must find ways to create equitable change.”

The researchers analyzed data on 377 adults being treated for heart failure in the United States, among whom 27% identified as Black, between July 2015 and June 2016.

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