Persistent sex disparities in implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Clinical guidelines recommend cardioverter defibrillator implantation for patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. Despite this, women and minorities have been less likely to receive implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy than white men. We examined race and sex differences in ICD implantation in a recent cohort.Using cross-sectional, retrospective analyses, we mined our health system's outpatient electronic medical records to assess age, race, sex, medications, and comorbidities for patients aged ≥18 years with ejection fraction ≤ 35% during 2014. While adjusting for confounding variables such as medications, age, and comorbidities, we conducted a multivariable logistic regression assessing whether racial and sex differences in ICD therapy persist.Among 5,156 outpatients with ejection fraction ≤35%, 1,681 (32.6%) patients had an ICD present at the time of their index outpatient visit in 2014. Women were less likely to have an ICD than men (25.0% vs 36.3%, P < 0.01), and black patients were less likely to have an ICD than white patients (28.0% vs 33.2%, P  =  0.02). In adjusted multivariable analyses, women were less like to have ICDs (adjusted odds ratio [OR]  =  0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58-0.79, P < 0.01) but the race difference dissipated (adjusted OR for black race  =  0.86, 95% CI, 0.68-1.08, P  =  0.18).In this large, outpatient cohort, we have shown that sex differences in ICD therapy continue to exist, but the difference in ICD prevalence by race was attenuated. Dedicated studies are required to fully understand the causes of persistent sex differences in ICD therapy.© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

publication date

  • December 2018