From Our 2012 Archives

Survival of Hospitalized Heart Failure Patients May Vary by Ethnicity

TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic and white patients' chances of surviving hospitalization for heart failure can differ based on their level of heart function, according to new research.

For the study, researchers reviewed data from Hispanic and white patients treated between 2005-2010 at 247 U.S. hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With the Guidelines-Heart Failure program. The findings are published March 13 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

Among patients with normal heart function, Hispanics were more likely than whites to survive their hospital stay. Among patients with reduced heart function, there were no differences in hospital survival between Hispanic and white patients, the investigators found.

The study authors also pointed out that quality of care was the same for both groups of patients and improved over the five-year study period.

"One possible reason for the survival difference between heart failure patients with preserved heart function is that Hispanics tend to be younger and may not be as sick as hospitalized white heart failure patients," lead author Dr. Rey Vivo, a fellow in the cardiology division at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center in Houston, said in a journal news release.

"That could be because Hispanics are more likely to have inadequate or no health insurance. So, they are more likely to go to the hospital for their care, versus seeking care in doctors' offices or outpatient clinics," Vivo explained.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Circulation: Heart Failure, news release, March 13, 2012