Racial and Ethnic Differences in Heart Failure Readmissions and Mortality in a Large Municipal Healthcare System

Matthew S. Durstenfeld, Olugbenga Ogedegbe, Stuart D. Katz, Hannah Park, Saul Blecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives This study sought to determine whether racial and ethnic differences exist among patients with similar access to care. We examined outcomes after heart failure hospitalization within a large municipal health system. Background Racial and ethnic disparities in heart failure outcomes are present in administrative data, and one explanation is differential access to care. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study of 8,532 hospitalizations of adults with heart failure at 11 hospitals in New York City from 2007 to 2010. Primary exposure was ethnicity and race, and outcomes were 30- and 90-day readmission and 30-day and 1-year mortality rates. Generalized estimating equations were used to test for associations between ethnicity and race and outcomes with covariate adjustment. Results Of the number of hospitalizations included, 4,305 (51%) were for blacks, 2,449 (29%) were for Hispanics, 1,494 (18%) were for whites, and 284 (3%) were for Asians. Compared to whites, blacks and Asians had lower 1-year mortality, with adjusted odds ratios (aORs) of 0.75 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.59 to 0.94) and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.38 to 0.85), respectively, and rates for Hispanics were not significantly different (aOR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.64 to 1.03). Hispanics had higher odds of readmission than whites (aOR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.57) at 30 (aOR: 1.40; 95% CI: 1.15 to 1.70) and 90 days. Blacks had higher odds of readmission than whites at 90 days (aOR:1.21; 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.47). Conclusions Racial and ethnic differences in outcomes after heart failure hospitalization were present within a large municipal health system. Access to a municipal health system may not be sufficient to eliminate disparities in heart failure outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016



  • ethnicity
  • health disparities
  • heart failure
  • morbidity
  • mortality
  • outcomes research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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