Socioeconomic disparities in midterm outcomes after repair for degenerative mitral regurgitation

Jad Malas, Qiudong Chen, Dominic Emerson, George Gill, Georgina Rowe, Natalia Egorova, Alfredo Trento, Joanna Chikwe, Michael E. Bowdish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The influence of socioeconomic disparities on survival after mitral repair is poorly defined. We examined the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and midterm outcomes of repair in Medicare beneficiaries with degenerative mitral regurgitation. Methods: US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data were used to identify 10,322 patients undergoing isolated first-time repair for degenerative mitral regurgitation between 2012 and 2019. Zip code-level socioeconomic disadvantage was dichotomized with the Distressed Communities Index, which incorporates education level, poverty, unemployment, housing security, median income, and business growth; those with Distressed Communities Index score ≥80 were classified as distressed. The primary outcome was survival, censored at 3 years. Secondary outcomes included cumulative incidences of heart failure readmission, mitral reintervention, and stroke. Results: Of the 10,322 patients undergoing degenerative mitral repair, 9.7% (n = 1003) came from distressed communities. Patients from distressed communities underwent surgery at lower volume centers (11 vs 16 cases/year) and traveled further for surgical care (40 vs 17 miles) (both P values < .001). At 3 years, unadjusted survival (85.4%; 95% CI, 82.9%-87.5% vs 89.7%; 95% CI, 89.0%-90.4%) and cumulative incidence of heart failure readmission (11.5%; 95% CI, 9.6%-13.7% vs 7.4%; 95% CI, 6.9%-8.0%) were worse in patients from distressed communities (all P values < .001), whereas mitral reintervention rates were similar (2.7%; 95% CI, 1.8%-4.0% vs 2.8%; 95% CI, 2.5%-3.2%; P = .75). After adjustment, community distress was independently associated with 3-year mortality (hazard ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.01-1.46) and heart failure readmissions (hazard ratio, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.04-1.58). Conclusions: Community-level socioeconomic distress is associated with worse outcomes in degenerative mitral repair among Medicare beneficiaries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • degenerative mitral regurgitation
  • disparities
  • health inequities
  • midterm outcomes
  • primary mitral regurgitation
  • socioeconomic


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