Impact of Race on Mitral Procedure Selection and Short-Term Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Mitral Valve Surgery


  • Christina M. Vassileva
  • Steve Markwell
  • Theresa Boley
  • Stephen Hazelrigg



Background: Racial disparity with respect to mitral valve (MV) surgery has been documented; however, previous reports have been limited by small numbers, focus on patients undergoing MV replacement only, or comparison of African-American patients to white patients. Using more recent data from the largest all-payer database in the United States, we examined whether type of mitral procedure performed was influenced by race and whether racial differences exist in baseline characteristics and short-term outcomes of patients undergoing mitral repair or replacement for MV disease.

Methods: Using the 2005-2007 National Inpatient Sample (NIS) Database, we identified patients ? 30 years of age who underwent MV repair or replacement, excluding ischemic and congenital MV disease. Patients were stratified into 4 racial groups: whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, and others. The 4 groups were compared with respect to baseline characteristics, type of MV procedure (repair versus replacement), and short-term outcomes.

Results: Non-whites comprised 22.3% (7818 out of 35,074) of the patients and were generally younger, more often on Medicaid and from urban locations, and more often presented on an urgent/emergent basis. African-Americans and Hispanics tended to be less affluent and have a higher Charlson comorbidity index. MV repair was performed in 45.8% of the patients overall. The racial groups differed significantly with respect to the proportion of patients receiving repair. Hispanics were 2 times more likely to have MV replacement compared to whites (odds ratio [OR] = 2.06, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.52-2.80, P = .0001), and African-Americans were more than 1.5 times more likely to have replacement compared to whites (OR = 1.69, 95% CI = 1.35-2.11). Following adjustment for baseline characteristics, there was no difference with respect to race for in-hospital mortality or likelihood of repair, but differences between groups persisted for length of stay and discharge location. African-Americans and Hispanics were more likely than whites to have a prolonged hospitalization.

Conclusions: African-Americans and Hispanics present for MV surgery with worse preoperative profiles and undergo mitral repair less often compared to whites. Although in-hospital mortality was not influenced by race, African-Americans and Hispanics had a more protracted hospital course even following adjustment. The disparity in mitral procedure selection among racial groups was present only prior to adjustment for important baseline characteristics. Nevertheless, this racial difference reflects current reality in surgical practice and identifies an important area for future improvement in the care of patients with valvular heart disease.


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How to Cite

Vassileva, C. M., Markwell, S., Boley, T., & Hazelrigg, S. (2011). Impact of Race on Mitral Procedure Selection and Short-Term Outcomes of Patients Undergoing Mitral Valve Surgery. The Heart Surgery Forum, 14(4), E221-E226.