Race- and Gender-Based Differences in Cardiac Structure and Function and Risk of Heart Failure

Alvin Chandra, Hicham Skali, Brian Claggett, Scott D. Solomon, Joseph S. Rossi, Stuart D. Russell, Kunihiro Matsushita, Dalane W. Kitzman, Suma H. Konety, Thomas H. Mosley, Patricia P. Chang, Amil M. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Although heart failure (HF) risk and cardiac structure/function reportedly differ according to race and gender, limited data exist in late life when risk of HF is highest. Objectives: The goal of this study was to evaluate race/gender–based differences in HF risk factors, cardiac structure/function, and incident HF in late life. Methods: This analysis included 5,149 HF-free participants from ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities), a prospective epidemiologic cohort study, who attended visit 5 (2011-2013) and underwent echocardiography. Participants were subsequently followed up for a median 5.5 years for incident HF/death. Results: Patients’ mean age was 75 ± 5 years, 59% were women, and 20% were Black. Male gender and Black race were associated with lower mean left ventricular ejection fraction. Black race was also associated with greater left ventricular wall thickness and concentricity, differences that persisted after adjusting for cardiovascular comorbidities. After adjusting for cardiovascular comorbidities, men were at higher risk for HF and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) in Black participants compared with White participants (HF: HR of 2.36 [95% CI: 1.37-4.08] vs 1.16 [95% CI: 0.89-1.51], interaction P = 0.016; HFrEF: HR of 3.70 [95% CI: 1.72-7.95] vs 1.55 [95% CI: 1.01-2.37] respectively, interaction P = 0.039). Black race was associated with a higher incidence of HF overall and HFrEF in men only (HF: 1.65 [95% CI: 1.07-2.53] vs 0.76 [95% CI: 0.49-1.17]; HFrEF: HR of 2.55 [95% CI: 1.46-4.44] vs 0.91 [95% CI: 0.46-1.83]). No race/gender–based differences were observed in risk of incident heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Conclusions: Among older persons free of HF, men and Black participants exhibit worse systolic performance and are at heightened risk for HFrEF, whereas the risk of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is similar across gender and race groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • echocardiography
  • elderly
  • gender
  • heart failure
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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