Better Understanding the Disparity Associated With Black Race in Heart Transplant Outcomes: A National Registry Analysis

Hasina Maredia, Mary Grace Bowring, Allan B. Massie, Sunjae Bae, Amber Kernodle, Shakirat Oyetunji, Christian Merlo, Robert S.D. Higgins, Dorry L. Segev, Errol L. Bush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Black heart transplant recipients have higher risk of mortality than White recipients. Better understanding of this disparity, including subgroups most affected and timing of the highest risk, is necessary to improve care of Black recipients. We hypothesize that this disparity may be most pronounced among young recipients, as barriers to care like socioeconomic factors may be particularly salient in a younger population and lead to higher early risk of mortality. Methods: We studied 22 997 adult heart transplant recipients using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data from January 2005 to 2017 using Cox regression models adjusted for recipient, donor, and transplant characteristics. Results: Among recipients aged 18 to 30 years, Black recipients had 2.05-fold (95% CI, 1.67-2.51) higher risk of mortality compared with non-Black recipients (P<0.001, interaction P<0.001); however, the risk was significant only in the first year post-transplant (first year: adjusted hazard ratio, 2.30 [95% CI, 1.60-3.31], P<0.001; after first year: adjusted hazard ratio, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.54-1.29]; P=0.4). This association was attenuated among recipients aged 31 to 40 and 41 to 60 years, in whom Black recipients had 1.53-fold ([95% CI, 1.25-1.89] P<0.001) and 1.20-fold ([95% CI, 1.09-1.33] P<0.001) higher risk of mortality. Among recipients aged 61 to 80 years, no significant association was seen with Black race (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.97-1.29]; P=0.1). Conclusions: Young Black recipients have a high risk of mortality in the first year after heart transplant, which has been masked in decades of research looking at disparities in aggregate. To reduce overall racial disparities, clinical research moving forward should focus on targeted interventions for young Black recipients during this period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E006107
JournalCirculation: Heart Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epidemiology
  • Tissue donors
  • Transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Better Understanding the Disparity Associated With Black Race in Heart Transplant Outcomes: A National Registry Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this