Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy: US Trends and Disparities in Utilization and Outcomes

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Abstract

Background—

The use of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) has increased significantly since its initial approval in 2001 for use in patients with advanced heart failure. However, trends in utilization of CRT have not been systematically characterized.

Methods and Results—

We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to identify all patients with CRT implantation during 2002 to 2010. The overall trends in CRT device implantation, patient characteristics, and outcomes were examined in detail and compared among demographic subgroups. During 2002 to 2010, a total of 374 202 CRT procedures were recorded. Significant and persistent gender and racial disparities favoring men (71.4%) and white (79.6%), respectively, were noted in all years. The highest number of CRT devices were implanted in the 65- to 84-year age group (64.6%), with significant increase in number of CRT implants in older patients ≥85 years over the years (P=0.02). The CRT-associated in-hospital mortality improved from 1.08% in 2003 to 0.70% in 2010 (P=0.03). The correlates of higher mortality included males (0.93% versus 0.71% in females; P=0.04) and older age (age ≥85 years had 1.5% mortality versus 0.8% for age <85 year; P<0.001). The mean hospital length of stay for CRT decreased, while mean CRT-associated hospital charges increased progressively over the years. Factors associated with higher charges were gender (males>females), older age, and greater comorbidities.

Conclusions—

CRT implantation is a relatively safe procedure that has become safer in higher risk patients. However, significant disparities in CRT utilization exist in certain demographic subgroups, and these disparities have persisted across the years.

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