Impact of socioeconomic deprivation on evaluation for heart transplantation at an urban academic medical center

Ersilia M. DeFilippis, Kevin J. Clerkin, Raymond C. Givens, Audrey Kleet, Hannah Rosenblum, Desire Cruz O'Connell, Veli K. Topkara, Rachel Bijou, Gabriel Sayer, Nir Uriel, Koji Takeda, Maryjane A. Farr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: For patients with advanced heart failure, socioeconomic deprivation may impede referral for heart transplantation (HT). We examined the association of socioeconomic deprivation with listing among patients evaluated at our institution and compared this against the backdrop of our local community. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients evaluated for HT between January 2017 and December 2020. Patient demographics and clinical characteristics were recorded. Block group-level area deprivation index (ADI) decile was obtained at each patient's home address and Socioeconomic Status (SES) index was determined by patient zip code. Results: In total, 400 evaluations were initiated; one international patient was excluded. Among this population, 111 (27.8%) were women, 219 (54.9%) were White, 94 (23.6%) Black, and 59 (14.8%) Hispanic. 248 (62.2%) patients were listed for transplant. Listed patients had significantly higher SES index and lower ADI compared to those who were not listed. However, after adjustment for clinical factors, ADI and SESi were not predictive of listing. Similarly, patient sex, race, and insurance did not influence the likelihood of listing for HT. Notably, the distribution of the referral cohort based on ADI deciles was not reflective of our center's catchment area, indicating opportunities for improving access to transplant for disadvantaged populations. Conclusions: Although socioeconomic deprivation did not predict listing in our analysis, we recognize the need for broader outreach to combat upstream bias that prevents patients from being referred for HT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Transplantation
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • disparities
  • health equity
  • heart failure
  • heart transplantation
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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