Race and beta-blocker survival benefit in patients with heart failure: an investigation of self-reported race and proportion of African genetic ancestry.

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J Am Heart Assoc


BACKGROUND: It remains unclear whether beta-blockade is similarly effective in black patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction as in white patients, but self-reported race is a complex social construct with both biological and environmental components. The objective of this study was to compare the reduction in mortality associated with beta-blocker exposure in heart failure and reduced ejection fraction patients by both self-reported race and by proportion African genetic ancestry.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Insured patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (n=1122) were included in a prospective registry at Henry Ford Health System. This included 575 self-reported blacks (129 deaths, 22%) and 547 self-reported whites (126 deaths, 23%) followed for a median 3.0 years. Beta-blocker exposure (BBexp) was calculated from pharmacy claims, and the proportion of African genetic ancestry was determined from genome-wide array data. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards regression was used to separately test the association of BBexp with all-cause mortality by self-reported race or by proportion of African genetic ancestry. Both sets of models were evaluated unadjusted and then adjusted for baseline risk factors and beta-blocker propensity score. BBexp effect estimates were protective and of similar magnitude both by self-reported race and by African genetic ancestry (adjusted hazard ratio=0.56 in blacks and adjusted hazard ratio=0.48 in whites). The tests for interactions with BBexp for both self-reported race and for African genetic ancestry were not statistically significant in any model (P>0.1 for all).

CONCLUSIONS: Among black and white patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction, reduction in all-cause mortality associated with BBexp was similar, regardless of self-reported race or proportion African genetic ancestry.

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