The impact of race on utilization of durable left ventricular assist device therapy in patients with advanced heart failure

J Card Surg. 2022 Nov;37(11):3586-3594. doi: 10.1111/jocs.16926. Epub 2022 Sep 19.


Background: Heart failure affects >6 million people in the United States alone and is most prevalent in Black patients who suffer the highest mortality risk. Yet prior studies have suggested that Black patients are less likely to receive advanced heart failure therapy. We hypothesized that Black patients would have decreased rates of durable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation within our expansive heart failure program.

Methods: A retrospective single-center cohort study was conducted at a single high-volume academic medical center. Patients between 18 and 85 years admitted with a diagnosis of cardiogenic shock or congestive heart failure between 1, 2013 and 12, 2017 with a left ventricular ejection fraction < 30% and inotropic dependence or need for mechanical circulatory support were included. Patients with contraindications to durable LVAD were excluded. An adjusted logistic regression model for durable LVAD implantation within 90 days of the index admission was used to determine the effect of race on durable LVAD implantation.

Results: Among the 702 study patients (60.9% White, 34.1% Black), durable LVAD implantation was performed within 90 days of the index admission in 183 (26%) of the cohort. After multivariate analysis, Black patients were not found to have a statistically significant difference in durable LVAD implantation rates compared to White patients in our study (OR: 0.68 [95% confidence interval: 0.45-1.04; p: .074]).

Conclusions: Black patients in our study did not have a statistically significant difference in the rate of durable LVAD implantation compared with White patients after adjustments were made for age, sex, socioeconomic, and clinical covariates. Larger prospective studies are needed to validate these findings.

Keywords: gender; heart failure; left ventricular assist device; race.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / surgery
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Ventricular Function, Left