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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Apr 29;51(17):1675-84. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.01.028.

Quality of care of and outcomes for African Americans hospitalized with heart failure: findings from the OPTIMIZE-HF (Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure) registry.

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  • 1Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA. clydey@baylorhealth.edu



We sought to examine the characteristics, quality of care, and clinical outcomes for a large cohort of African-American patients hospitalized with heart failure (HF) in centers participating in a quality improvement initiative.


Heart failure in African Americans is characterized by variations in natural history, lesser response to evidence-based therapies, and disparate health care. We hypothesized that a performance improvement program will achieve similar adherence to quality measures in African Americans admitted with HF compared with non-African Americans.


The OPTIMIZE-HF (Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure) registry-based performance-improvement program includes a pre-specified 10% subgroup with 60- to 90-day follow-up. Data on quality of care measures and outcomes were analyzed for 8,608 African-American patients compared with 38,501 non-African-American patients.


African Americans were significantly younger and more likely to receive evidence-based medications but less likely to receive discharge instructions and smoking cessation counseling. In multivariable analyses, African-American race was an independent predictor of lower in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 0.71; 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.87; p < 0.001) but similar hospital length of stay. After multivariable adjustment, post-discharge outcomes were similar for American-American and non-African-American patients, but African-American race was associated with higher angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor prescription and left ventricular function assessment; no other HF quality indicators were influenced by race.


In the context of a performance-improvement program, African Americans with HF received similar or better treatment with evidence-based medications, less discharge counseling, had better in-hospital survival, and similar adjusted risk of follow-up death/repeat hospital stay.

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