Socioeconomic status and access to care and the incidence of a heart failure diagnosis in the inpatient and outpatient settings

Carmen C. Cuthbertson, Gerardo Heiss, Jacqueline D. Wright, Ricky Camplain, Mehul D. Patel, Randi E. Foraker, Kunihiro Matsushita, Nicole Puccinelli-Ortega, Amil M. Shah, Anna M. Kucharska-Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Despite well-documented associations of socioeconomic status with incident heart failure (HF) hospitalization, little information exists on the relationship of socioeconomic status with HF diagnosed in the outpatient (OP) setting. Methods: We used Poisson models to examine the association of area-level indicators of educational attainment, poverty, living situation, and density of primary care physicians with incident HF diagnosed in the inpatient (IP) and OP settings among a cohort of Medicare beneficiaries (n = 109,756; 2001–2013). Results: The age-standardized rate of HF incidence was 35.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 35.1–36.5) and 13.9 (95% CI, 13.5–14.4) cases per 1000 person-years in IP and OP settings, respectively. The incidence rate differences (IRDs) per 1000 person-years in both settings suggested greater incidence of HF in high- compared to low-poverty areas (IP IRD = 4.47 [95% CI, 3.29–5.65], OP IRD = 1.41 [95% CI, 0.61–2.22]) and in low- compared to high-education areas (IP IRD = 3.73 [95% CI, 2.63–4.82], OP IRD = 1.72 [95% CI, 0.97–2.47]). Conclusions: Our results highlight the role of area-level social determinants of health in the incidence of HF in both the IP and OP settings. These findings may have implications for HF prevention policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Access to care
  • Epidemiology
  • Heart failure
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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