Barriers to cardiac transplantation in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: The Washington, DC, dilated cardiomyopathy study

Steven S. Coughlin, Susan Halabi, Catherine Metayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Although cardiac transplantation offers prolonged survival and improved quality of life to patients with end-stage heart failure, many patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy do not undergo this procedure. Possible barriers to cardiac transplantation were examined among 138 patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy from five hospitals in Washington, DC. Patients underwent follow-up for approximately 5 years. The patients or a close family member were interviewed at baseline about socioeconomic factors and medical history. The patients or their next-of-kin were recontacted at 1-year intervals to determine patients' vital status and to obtain information about cardiac transplantation. Overall, the cumulative survival at 12 and 60 months was 75.8% and 37.3%, respectively. Only 3.6% (5 of 138) of the patients underwent cardiac transplantation, and 19 (13.8%) patients had been placed on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Black race and nonmarried status were inversely associated with cardiac transplantation. Factors associated with not having been placed on a waiting list included older age, lower income, and lack of private health insurance. Black race was found to be significantly, but inversely associated with cardiac transplantation while older age was inversely associated with having been placed on a waiting list after adjusting for sex, race, education, and private insurance. These findings suggest that black patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy are less likely to undergo cardiac transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Blacks
  • Cardiac transplantation
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this