Racial Differences in Treatment Intensity at the End of Life Among Older Adults with Heart Failure: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleRacial Differences in Treatment Intensity at the End of Life Among Older Adults with Heart Failure: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsMcCleskey, SG, Bustamante, AVargas, Ahluwalia, SC, Nuckols, TK, Kominski, GF, Chuang, E
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
ISSN Number1557-7740
KeywordsEnd of life care, health equity, Heart Failure
Abstract

Black Americans experience the highest prevalence of heart failure (HF) and the worst clinical outcomes of any racial or ethnic group, but little is known about end-of-life care for this population. Compare treatment intensity between Black and White older adults with HF near the end of life. Negative binomial and logistic regression analyses of pooled, cross-sectional data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). A total of 1607 U.S. adults aged 65 years and older with HF who identify as Black or White, and whose proxy informant participated in an HRS exit interview between 2002 and 2016. We compared four common measures of treatment intensity at the end of life (number of hospital admissions, receipt of care in an intensive care unit (ICU), utilization of life support, and whether the decedent died in a hospital) between Black and White HF patients, controlling for demographic, social, and health characteristics. Racial identity was not significantly associated with the number of hospital admissions or admission to an ICU in the last 24 months of life. However, Black HF patients were more likely to spend time on life support (odds ratio [OR] = 2.16, confidence interval [CI] = 1.35-3.44,  = 0.00) and more likely to die in a hospital (OR = 1.53, CI = 1.03-2.28,  = 0.04) than White HF patients. Black HF patients were more likely to die in a hospital and to spend time on life support than White HF patients. Thoughtful and consistent engagement with HF patients regarding treatment preferences is an important step in addressing inequities.

DOI10.1089/jpm.2023.0369
Citation Key13855
PubMed ID38546482