Research Finds That Blacks Are Less Likely Than Whites to Receive Special Pacemakers

New research by doctors at the Duke University School of Medicine, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, finds that Black patients who experienced chronic heart failure are less likely than Whites who have had chronic heart failure to be outfitted with a special pacemaker that has been shown to prolong survival rates and ease symptoms.

More than five million Americans have suffered chronic heart failure. Using the special pacemaker in cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillation helps the heart pump blood efficiently.

The study found that from 2006 to 2010, 84 percent of White patients received the treatment compared to 81 percent of Black patients. And the slight disparity remained even when adjusting for factors such as gender, region, and whether or not the patient was on Medicare.

The authors of the study state that the racial differences may be the result of personal preferences, provider biases, and less access to health care.

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