By Consumers For Quality Care, on February 25, 2021
According to American Heart Association News, Black adults under the age of 30 who receive heart transplants are more than twice as likely to die within a year of the procedure than other young adults.
The study of mortality rates for more than 23,000 heart transplant recipients found that the higher risk of death begins to decline after a patient reaches age 30, with the racial disparity gradually disappearing until it becomes nonexistent at age 61.
The study also found that young Black people who underwent heart transplants were more likely to have diabetes, high blood pressure, a weakened heart muscle, and be insured by Medicaid rather than a private insurer.
However, senior study author, associate professor of surgery, and surgical director of the Advanced Lung Disease and Lung Transplantation program at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Errol L. Bush noted:
“The high risk associated with Black race is not specifically due to race itself,” Bush said. “It is a marker of systemic racism and inequities that have resulted in health care disparities.”