Background Heart transplantation allocation is often restricted from patients with low socioeconomic status (SES) due to concern for worse outcomes. We hypothesised that comorbidities would have a greater impact on risk of severe rejection post-orthotopic heart transplant than would Medicaid insurance and Median Household Income (MHI). Methods A retrospective study of 171 patients who underwent orthotopic heart transplant between 7/1999-11/2013 at our facility were followed until 9/2014 for rejection hospitalisations or death. Survival and multivariable analyses with adjustment for age, race, and gender were performed to estimate the risk of severe cellular rejection, ≥2r (hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]). Results Eighteen per cent of patients had Medicaid, and 72% of patients had low or medium MHI. Severe rejection occurred in 23% of patients. In the univariable analysis, Medicaid and diabetes were associated with increased risk of rejection while age >60 years, Caucasian race, and male sex were associated with reduced risk [Medicaid 2.32(1.20,4.51), diabetes 2.49(1.09,5.69), age 0.41(0.20,0.84), Caucasian 0.44(0.21,0.93), male 0.49(0.26,0.92)]. Median Household Income had no correlation [MHI 0.79(0.51,1.23)]. In the multivariable adjusted model, Medicaid was not associated with rejection [1.65(0.79,3.41)]; diabetes was strongly associated with risk of severe rejection [3.9(1.59,9.39)], and age >60 years was associated with risk reduction [0.42(0.20,0.82)]. Conclusions Medicaid insurance and MHI were not associated with increased risk of severe cellular rejection requiring hospitalisation post-orthotopic heart transplant in the adjusted model. Rather the presence of diabetes and age ≤60 years were associated with increased risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-171
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Diabetes
  • Outcomes
  • Socioeconomic status


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