Access to Heart Transplants May Be Limited Due to Racial Bias

A recent study found that white adults underwent life-saving heart surgeries twice as frequently as black adults, raising the possibility of racial prejudice among healthcare decision-makers.

According to a press release from the National Institutes of Health, research author Wendy C. Taddei-Peters, PhD, remarked, “The lives handicapped or lost are simply too many.”

A heart transplant or heart pump was given to 22% of white individuals and 11% of black adults, according to a study that looked at the care of 377 patients at 21 advanced heart failure hospitals in the United States.

According to 2018 official data, black Americans have a 30% higher risk of dying from heart disease than white people.

Variables including disease severity and patient treatment choices were taken into account by the researchers. Despite the fact that 36 White people and 18 Black adults died throughout the trial, the National Institutes of Health summary notes that there was no statistically significant correlation between the patients’ race and death rates.

The institution, which assisted in funding the study, stated that the researchers’ inability to explain the gap in methods raised the possibility that the patients’ care was affected by covert and overt racism on the part of medical professionals.

According to research author Thomas M. Cascino, MD, “the weight of the evidence implies that we as heart failure doctors are perpetuating current disparities.” “Recognizing discrepancies, though, isn’t sufficient. In our capacity as medical professionals, we must devise strategies for bringing about fair change.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provided funding for the project, which is a component of continuing work looking at disparities in heart failure treatment.

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