In Heart Failure, Initial ICU Care by Cardiologist Differs by Race

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Primary ICU care by a cardiologist was associated with higher in-hospital survival.
Primary ICU care by a cardiologist was associated with higher in-hospital survival.

HealthDay News — Among heart failure patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), African-Americans are less likely than Caucasians to receive primary care by a cardiologist, according to a study published in the May 1 issue of JACC: Heart Failure.

Khadijah Breathett, M.D., from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and colleagues used data from the Premier database to identify 104,835 adult patients admitted to an ICU (2010 to 2014) with a primary discharge diagnosis of heart failure. Associations between race and primary ICU care by a cardiologist were determined.

The researchers found that 80.3 percent of patients were Caucasian and 19.7 percent were African-American.

Compared to African-Americans, Caucasians had higher odds of care by a cardiologist (adjusted odds ratio, 1.42). Primary ICU care by a cardiologist was associated with higher in-hospital survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.2) compared with care by a non-cardiologist. Survival likelihood did not differ by patient race.

"Interventions that reduce racial differences in receipt of care and improve quality of care by non-cardiologists during ICU admissions for heart failure are indicated," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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