Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) are increasingly used in advanced heart failure patients. Recent studies suggest that low socioeconomic status (SES) predicts worst survival after heart transplantation. Both individuallevel and neighborhood-level SES (nSES) have been linked to cardiovascular health; however, the impact of SES in CFLVAD patients remains unknown. We hypothesized that SES is a major determinant of CF-LVAD candidacy and postimplantation outcomes. A retrospective chart review was conducted on 362 patients between February 2009 and May 2016. Neighborhood-level SES was measured using the American Community Survey data and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality SES index score. Individual-level SES was self reported. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression determined survival statistics. Patients in the highest SES tertile were older (58 ± 13 vs. 53 ± 14; p < 0.001), less likely to be black or Hispanic (26% vs. 70%; p < 0.001), more likely to be married (87% vs. 65%; p < 0.001), more likely to have private insurance (50% vs. 39%; p < 0.001), and more likely to have employment (29% vs. 15%; p < 0.001) compared with patients in the lowest tertile. Low nSES was associated with a decreased risk of death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.580; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.347-0.970; p = 0.038) in comparison to the high nSES. However, after adjusting for baseline clinical morbidities, the relationship was no longer present. When selecting patients for a LVAD, SES should not be thought of as an immutable risk factor. Carefully selected low-SES patients could be safely implanted with CF-LVAD with outcomes comparable to high-SES patients.
- Left ventricular assist device
- Psychosocial risk
- Socioeconomic status
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering