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Incidence of heart failure among immigrants to Ontario, Canada: a CANHEART immigrant study


Background — Several known traditional cardiovascular risk factors contribute to the development of heart failure (HF); however, whether ethnicity is also an important predictor is not well established. We determined the incidence of hospitalization for HF among ethnic groups in Ontario, Canada, and examined differences in risk factor prevalence that may contribute to disparities in HF hospitalization incidence between groups.

Methods and Results — We conducted a retrospective observational study from 2008 to 2012 with the use of a linked cohort derived from population-based health administrative, clinical, and survey datasets. We followed 895,823 recent immigrants from 8 ethnic groups and 5.3 million long-term residents aged 40 to 105 years for incident HF hospitalization. Sex-stratified age-standardized HF incidence was lower among all immigrant groups than long-term residents. Among immigrants, Black men and West Asian women had the highest incidence of hospitalizations for HF (1.19 and 1.60 per 1000 person-years, respectively), and East Asians of both sexes had the lowest incidence. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, comorbidities, and other risk factors, the association between ethnicity and HF hospitalization risk remained significant.

Conclusions — HF hospitalization incidence varies widely among ethnic immigrant groups, highlighting the importance of ethnicity as a potential independent risk factor for HF development.



Di Giuseppe G, Chu A, Tu JV, Shanmugasegaram S, Liu P, Lee DS. J Card Fail. 2019; 25(6):425-35. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

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