When the At-Risk Do Not Develop Heart Failure: Understanding Positive Deviance Among Postmenopausal African American and Hispanic Women

Khadijah Breathett, Lindsay N. Kohler, Charles B. Eaton, Nora Franceschini, Lorena Garcia, Liviu Klein, Lisa W. Martin, Heather M. Ochs-Balcom, Aladdin H. Shadyab, Crystal W. Cené

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: African American and Hispanic postmenopausal women have the highest risk for heart failure compared with other races, but heart failure prevalence is lower than expected in some national cohorts. It is unknown whether psychosocial factors are associated with lower risk of incident heart failure hospitalization among high-risk postmenopausal minority women. Methods and Results: Using the Women's Health Initiative Study, African American and US Hispanic women were classified as high-risk for incident heart failure hospitalization with 1 or more traditional heart failure risk factors and the highest tertile heart failure genetic risk scores. Positive psychosocial factors (optimism, social support, religion) and negative psychosocial factors (living alone, social strain, depressive symptoms) were measured using validated survey instruments at baseline. Adjusted subdistribution hazard ratios of developing heart failure hospitalization were determined with death as a competing risk. Positive deviance indicated not developing incident heart failure hospitalization with 1 or more risk factors and the highest tertile for genetic risk. Among 7986 African American women (mean follow-up of 16 years), 27.0% demonstrated positive deviance. Among high-risk African American women, optimism was associated with modestly reduced risk of heart failure hospitalization (subdistribution hazard ratio 0.94, 95% confidence interval 0.91–0.99), and social strain was associated with modestly increased risk of heart failure hospitalization (subdistribution hazard ratio 1.07, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.12) in the initial models; however, no psychosocial factors were associated with heart failure hospitalization in fully adjusted analyses. Among 3341 Hispanic women, 25.1% demonstrated positive deviance. Among high-risk Hispanic women, living alone was associated with increased risk of heart failure hospitalization (subdistribution hazard ratio 1.97, 95% confidence interval 1.06–3.63) in unadjusted analyses; however, no psychosocial factors were associated with heart failure hospitalization in fully adjusted analyses. Conclusions: Among postmenopausal African American and Hispanic women, a significant proportion remained free from heart failure hospitalization despite having the highest genetic risk profile and 1 or more traditional risk factors. No observed psychosocial factors were associated with incident heart failure hospitalization in high-risk African Americans and Hispanics. Additional investigation is needed to understand protective factors among high-risk African American and Hispanic women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • racial disparities
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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