Stanford University Researchers Find Persistent Racial Gap in Mortality Rates of Heart Transplant Patients

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine recently published a study in the journal Circulation which shows a significant racial disparity in mortality rates among heart transplant recipients.

The research examined more than 39,000 cases where patients received heart transplants from 1987 to 2007. The study found that in the 1987 to 1999 period, 27.4 percent of white heart transplant died within five years. For blacks the mortality rate was 38.2 percent. In the more recent 2002 to 2005 period, mortality rates were down but the racial gap was almost the same. In the latest period, 24 percent of whites and 33.7 percent of blacks died within five years of receiving a heart transplant.