Racial disparities and outcomes of left ventricular assist device implantation as a bridge to heart transplantation

Alexis Kofi Okoh, Mariam Selevanny, Supreet Singh, Sameer Hirji, Swaiman Singh, Nawar Al. Obaidi, Leonard Y. Lee, Margarita Camacho, Mark J. Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims: This study investigated outcomes after continuous flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) implantation as bridge to heart transplantation (BTT) in advanced heart failure patients stratified by race. Methods and results: De-identified data from the United Network for Organ Sharing database was obtained for all patients who had a CF-LVAD as BTT from 2008 to 2018. Patients were stratified into four groups on the basis of ethnicity [Caucasian, African American (AA), Hispanic, and others (Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indian)]. Outcomes investigated were waitlist mortality or delisting and post-transplant 5 year survival. Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to identify independent predictors of waitlist mortality or delisting and post-transplant survival. We used Kaplan–Meier survival curves and the log-rank test to estimate and compare survival among groups. A total of 14 234 patients who had CF-LVADs as BTT were identified. Of these, 64% (n = 9058) were Caucasians, 26% (n = 3677) were AA, 7% (n = 997) were Hispanic, and 3% (n = 502) had a different race. Compared with Caucasian, AA, and Hispanic patients had higher body mass indexes and a lower level of education and are more likely to be public health insurance beneficiaries. There was a significantly lower incidence of transplantation in AAs compared with Caucasians, Hispanics, and others at 12, 24, and 60 months, respectively (Gray's test, P < 0.001). The AA race was a significant predictor of waitlist mortality or delisting owing to worsening clinical status [hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval: 1.10 (1.01 to 1.16; P < 0.001)]. Among those who were successfully BTT, risk-adjusted post-transplant survival was similar among the four groups (log-rank test: P = 0.589). Conclusions: Disparities exist among different races that receive a CF-LVAD as a BTT. These disparities translate into increased waitlist morbidity and mortality but not long-term post-transplant survival among those who successfully reach transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2744-2751
Number of pages8
JournalESC Heart Failure
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


  • Disparities
  • Heart transplant
  • LVAD
  • Race
  • Waitlist


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