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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Jun;22(6):526-31. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.4107.

Gender and other disparities in referral to specialized heart failure clinics following emergency department visits.

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Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec H3C3J7, Canada.



Persons with heart failure (HF) at high risk for adverse events should be followed by specialized HF clinics, since follow-up by specialized HF clinics improves outcomes for HF patients. The objective was to determine whether there were disparities for gender and other factors associated with referral of patients to specialized HF clinics.


In this prospective cohort study, patients with a confirmed primary diagnosis of HF were recruited by nurses at 8 hospital emergency departments (ED) in Québec, Canada. They were interviewed by telephone at 6 weeks post ED discharge and subsequently at 3 months and 6 months. Pertinent clinical variables were extracted from medical charts by trained nurses. Bivariate analysis and multiple logistic regression were used to identify whether gender and other potential factors were associated with referral to the HF clinic.


We enrolled 549 patients (mean age 75.5±11.0 years; 51% males). By 6 months after their ED visit for HF, 37.6% of the cohort were referred to specialized HF clinics. Men were more likely to be referred (odds ratio [OR] 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12, 3.74). Other factors associated with referral were younger age (OR 0.95; 95% CI 0.92, 0.98), and systolic dysfunction HF (left ventricle ejection fraction <40%) (OR 3.08; 95% CI 1.77, 5.46).


There are disparities in referral with respect to gender, age, and type of HF. These disparities in referral need to be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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