Racial Disparity: The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Surgery Perspective

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The influence of race and ethnicity on clinical outcomes in medicine are widely acknowledged. However, the effect of race on adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) surgery is not known. We sought to evaluate the possible association between race and outcomes following ACHD operations. Discharge records for patients who underwent ACHD surgery between 2005 and 2014, were isolated from an all-payer voluntary database in the United States. Hierarchical case-mix regression models and sensitivity analyses examined any complication, in-hospital mortality, and discharge disposition (home/non-home) by race (white–WP, black–BP, non-white non-black–NWNB). Of the 174,370 patients (WP: 80.8%, BP: 5.8%, NWNB: 13.4%), black patients were youngest to undergo surgery (WP: 57.9 ± 15.8 years, BP: 50.2 ± 16.1 years, NWNB: 51.6 ± 16.9 years, P < 0.0001), the most likely to have a comorbidity (WP: 70.3%, BP: 74.3%, NWNB: 68.6%, P < 0.0001), and most likely to have had a post-operative cardiac complication (WP: 9.4%, BP: 15.3%, NWNB: 10.9%, P < 0.0001). BP had similar odds of having any complication (AOR = 0.99, 95%CI = 0.94–1.04), while NWNB had significantly decreased odds of a major complication (AOR = 0.90, 95%CI = 0.87–0.93). BP had equivalent in-hospital mortality compared to WP (AOR = 1.03, 95%CI = 0.91–1.18), while NWNB had significantly increased odds of in-hospital mortality (AOR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.18–1.41). Among survivors, BP were less likely to discharge home (AOR = 0.88, 95%CI = 0.82–0.94), and NWNB were more likely to discharge home than WP (AOR = 1.26, 95%CI = 1.19–1.33). Race and clinical outcomes are associated among patients undergoing surgery for ACHD. Understanding why and how these factors are impactful will help improve care for this complex population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Discharge
  • Mortality
  • Outcomes
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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