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‘Depressing’: MU study finds unequal treatment between Black and white heart patients

Posted in School of Health Professions

May 31, 2021 A University of Missouri study has revealed racial inequality in the way Black patients with advanced heart disease are treated, with potentially harmful results that can include getting kicked off heart transplant waiting lists. The study focused on the use of a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, a mechanical pump installed in the body that helps the heart circulate blood. In some cases it can be used while a patient waits for a new heart, acting as a temporary bridge to a transplant. The MU research revealed differences between when Black and white heart patients received that help. Medical sociologist Adrianne Frech and her colleagues found that Black patients were more likely than white patients to receive an LVAD later in their disease. The result? Black patients were more likely to be deemed ineligible for a transplant and taken off the waiting list. “Our initial supposition was that because...

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