Racial and ethnic disparities in heart failure: Current state and future directions

Sabra C. Lewsey, Khadijah Breathett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewThis review discusses the current state of racial and ethnic inequities in heart failure burden, outcomes, and management. This review also frames considerations for bridging disparities to optimize quality heart failure care across diverse communities.Recent findingsTreatment options for heart failure have diversified and overall heart failure survival has improved with the advent of effective pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies. With increased recognition, some racial/ethnic disparity gaps have narrowed whereas others in heart failure outcomes, utilization of therapies, and advanced therapy access persist or worsen.SummaryRacial and ethnic minorities have the highest incidence, prevalence, and hospitalization rates from heart failure. In spite of improved therapies and overall survival, the mortality disparity gap in African American patients has widened over time. Racial/ethnic inequities in access to cardiovascular care, utilization of efficacious guideline-directed heart failure therapies, and allocation of advanced therapies may contribute to disparate outcomes. Strategic and earnest interventions considering social and structural determinants of health are critically needed to bridge racial/ethnic disparities, increase dissemination, and implementation of preventive and therapeutic measures, and collectively improve the health and longevity of patients with heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-328
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • disparities
  • ethnic groups
  • health equity
  • heart failure
  • outcomes
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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