Racial Disparities in Post-Transplant Stroke and Mortality Following Stroke in Adult Cardiac Transplant Recipients in the United States
ABSTRACTBackgroundBlack heart transplant recipients have a higher mortality rate than white recipients 6-12 months after transplant. Whether there are racial disparities in post-transplant stroke incidence and all-cause mortality following post-transplant stroke among cardiac transplant recipients is unknown.Methods and FindingsUsing a nationwide transplant registry, we assessed the association between race and incident post-transplant stroke using logistic regression and the association
... race and mortality among adults who survived a post-transplant stroke using Cox proportional hazards regression. We found no evidence of an association between race and the odds of post-transplant stroke (OR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.83 – 1.21). The median survival time of those with a post-transplant stroke in this cohort was 4.1 years (95% CI: 3.0, 5.4). There were 726 deaths among the 1139 patients with post-transplant stroke, including 127 deaths among 203 Black patients and 599 deaths among 936 white patients. Among post-transplant stroke survivors, Black transplant recipients experienced a 27% higher rate of mortality compared to white recipients (HR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.03 – 1.57). This disparity is strongest in the period beyond the first 6 months and appears to be mediated by differences in the post-transplant setting of care between Black and white patients. The racial disparity in mortality outcomes was not evident in the past decade.ConclusionsThe improved survival of Black patients in the recent decade may reflect overall protocol improvements for heart transplant recipients irrespective of race, such as advancements in surgical techniques and immediate postoperative care as well as increased awareness about reducing racial disparities.