Black-white differences in mortality in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: the Washington, DC, dilated cardiomyopathy study.

Steven Scott Coughlin, J. S. Gottdiener, K. L. Baughman, A. Wasserman, E. S. Marx, M. C. Tefft, B. J. Gersh

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23 Scopus citations


Racial, socioeconomic, and clinical factors were examined as predictors of survival in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy using cases from five Washington, DC-area hospitals. One hundred three (80.5%) of the patients were black and 25 (19.5%) were white. The black patients were less likely to have private health insurance, less educated on average, and more likely to have a household income of $15,000 or less (P < or = .05). No racial differences were found in cardiac medication usage, with the exception of beta blockers and antiarrhythmics. The cumulative survival among black patients at 12 and 24 months was 71.5% and 63.6%, respectively, as compared with 92.0% and 86.3% among whites. The 12-month survival of black patients with ventricular arrhythmias or an ejection fraction of less than 25% was particularly poor. Age, ventricular arrhythmias, ejection fraction, and cigarette usage were significant predictors of survival in univariate analysis using the proportional hazards model. The univariate association with black race was of borderline significance (P < or = .07). In multivariate analysis, age and race were statistically significant independent predictors of survival. A strong association with black race was observed with an estimated relative risk of mortality of 5.41 (P < or = .02) after adjustment for age, ejection fraction, ventricular arrhythmias, and educational attainment. Poorer survival among blacks may be caused by a greater severity of disease at the time of diagnosis or by racial differences in cardiac care, comorbid conditions, or biologic factors affecting survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-591
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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