(HealthDay News) — The number of Americans hospitalized for heart failure has dropped substantially since 2002, but blacks still face higher risks, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The findings are based on records from thousands of US hospitals. Between 2002 and 2013, heart failure hospitalizations declined by 30.8% nationwide, the researchers found. In 2002, there were 526.86 hospital admissions for heart failure for every 100,000 people, adjusted for age. By 2013, that rate had decreased to 364.66 per 100,000.

Hospitalization rates were about 2.5 times higher among blacks vs whites — and the gap did not narrow over time, the investigators found. In contrast, the disparity between Hispanics and whites narrowed considerably. By 2013, the hospitalization rate for Hispanic adults was just 6.2% higher than for whites — down from a 44.9% difference in 2002. Asian/Pacific Islanders has lower rates relative to whites at both time points, with continued improvements noted by 2013.

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“Significant population health interventions are needed to reduce the heart failure hospitalization burden among blacks,” the authors conclude. “An evaluation of factors explaining the improvements in the heart failure hospitalization rates among Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders is needed.”


  1. Ziaeian B, Kominski GF, Ong MK, Mays VM, Brook RH, Fonarow GC. National differences in trends for heart failure hospitalizations by sex and race/ethnicity. 2017;10(7). doi:10.1161/circoutcomes.116.003552