Date: 22 Aug 2013

Heart Failure Outcomes Based on Race and Gender of Patients in a Medically Undeserved Area

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Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate changes in quality of life (QoL), disease severity and exercise tolerance of heart failure (HF) patients in a medically underserved clinic based on race and gender. Despite advances in the treatment of HF over the past decade, incidence, morbidity and mortality for patients continue to rise while QoL declines. HF is common in African-Americans and women; however, there is limited research focusing on race and gender variables. Health related QoL, disease severity measured by B-type natriuretic peptide blood test (BNP) and ejection fraction (EF), and exercise tolerance measured by six minute walk test (6MWT) were assessed at admission and at 6 months in a convenience sample of 53 patients. Variables were compared by race and gender. The sample was 67.9 % African American and 62.3 % male. Men had greater improvements than women in QoL, BNP, and EF, while women had greater improvements in the 6MWT. African Americans had greater improvements than Whites in all four variables. Even in the presence of disease severity in patients with New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III and IV HF, there were significant improvements in QoL, BNP, HF outcomes demonstrating the importance of developing culturally sensitive and gender-specific treatment plans.