Utilization of cardiac resynchronization therapy in eligible patients hospitalized for heart failure and its association with patient outcomes

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Abstract

Objectives

We examined trends in CRT utilization overall and by sex and race and to assess whether CRT use is associated with a reduction in HF hospitalization and mortality.

Background

It is unknown whether underutilization and race/sex-based differences in cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) use have persisted. The association between CRT and heart failure (HF) hospitalization and mortality in real-world practice remains unclear.

Methods

We linked 72,008 HF patients from 388 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines HF eligible for CRT with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data to assess CRT utilization trends, HF hospitalization rates, and all-cause mortality.

Results

From 2005–2014, 18,935 (26.3%) eligible patients had CRT in place, implanted, or prescribed. The majority were male (60.0%) and white (61.9%). CRT utilization increased during the study period (P = .0002) especially in the early period. Women were less likely to receive CRT, and this difference increased over time (interaction P = .0037) despite greater mortality risk reduction (interaction P = .0043). Black patients were less likely than white patients to have CRT throughout the study period (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.79; 95% CI 0.74-0.85). Patients with CRT implanted during the index hospitalization had lower mortality (adjusted HR 0.65; 95% CI 0.59-0.71) and were less likely to be readmitted for HF than patients without CRT (adjusted HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.58-0.71).

Conclusions/relevance

CRT use has increased in all populations, but it remains underutilized. CRT remains more common among white than black HF patients, and women were less likely than men to receive CRT despite deriving greater benefit.

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