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A comparison of Chinese and non-Chinese Canadian patients hospitalized with heart failure


Background — Canadians of Chinese descent, represent one of the fastest growing visible minority groups in Canada, (as well as the second largest), but relatively little is known about the clinical features of heart failure (HF) in Chinese-Canadian versus non-Chinese Canadian patients.

Methods — We conducted a population-based analysis of urban patients hospitalized in Ontario, Canada for the first time with a most responsible diagnosis of HF between April 1, 1995 and March 31, 2008. Among the 99,278 patients, 1,339 (1.3%) were classified as Chinese using a previously validated list of Chinese surnames. Through linkage to other administrative databases, we compared the clinical characteristics, pharmacological management, and outcomes of Chinese versus non-Chinese HF patients.

Results — Ischemic heart disease was identified as the possible etiology of HF in a greater proportion of non-Chinese patients (47.7% vs. 35.3%; p < 0.001) whereas hypertension (26.1% vs. 16.1%; p < 0.001) and valvular heart disease (11.6% vs. 7.2%; p < 0.001) were relatively more common in Chinese patients. Chinese patients were prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors less frequently (57.5% vs. 66.4%, p < 0.001) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) more frequently (17.4% vs. 8.9%, p < 0.001) compared to non-Chinese patients. They were also less likely to be adherent to ACE inhibitors over a 1-year follow up period. However, the 1-year case-fatality rates were comparable between the Chinese (31.7%) and non-Chinese (30.2%) subjects (p = 0.24).

Conclusion — There are important differences in the causes and medical management of HF in Chinese and non-Chinese patients residing in Canada. Despite these differences, the long-term outcomes of HF patients were similar.



Yeung DF, Van Dyke NK, Maclagan LC, Moe GW, Shah BR, Chiu M, Lee DS, Ko DT, Lau C, Tu JV. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2013; 13:114.

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