The number of people hospitalized for heart failure in the United States declined about 30 percent between 2002 and 2013, but large disparities between blacks vs. whites and men vs. women remain, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

The study is the first to report on the age-standardized racial/ethnic differences in national heart failure hospitalization rates between whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders.

Researchers examined data from the National Inpatient Survey from 2002-2013, which consisted of data from 7-8 million hospital discharge per year across thousands of hospitals.

They found:

  • Overall, the national rate of heart failure hospitalization decreased by about 30 percent.
  • Hospitalization rates for heart failure in men grew to be 39 percent higher than women.
  • Hospitalization rates for heart failure in blacks was more than 200 percent higher than for whites with no significant change over the period.
  • The rate for Hispanics dropped much faster than for whites with the disparity between the two groups narrowing to just 4 percent higher among Hispanic men, and decreasing from an initial 55 percent higher rate among Hispanic women in 2002 to only 8 percent higher in 2013.

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