BACKGROUND - Because heart failure (HF) is the final common pathway for most heart diseases, we examined its 10-year prevalence trend by race, sex, and age in Tennessee.
METHODS AND RESULTS - HF hospitalization data from the Tennessee Hospital Discharge Data System were analyzed by race, sex, and age. Rates were directly age-adjusted using the Year 2000 standard population. Adult (age 20+ years) inpatient hospitalization for primary diagnosis of HF (HFPD) increased from 4.2% in 1997 to 4.5% in 2006. Age-adjusted hospitalization for HF (per 10 000 population) rose by 11.3% (from 29.3 in 1997 to 32.6 in 2006). Parallel changes in secondary HF admissions were also noted. Age-adjusted rates were higher among blacks than whites and higher among men than women. The ratios of black to white by sex admitted with HFPD in 2006 were highest (9:1) among the youngest age categories (20 to 34 and 35 to 44 years). Furthermore, for each age category of black men below 65 years, there were higher HF admission rates than for white men in the immediate older age category. In 2006, the adjusted rate ratios for HFPD in black to white men ages 20 to 34 and 35 to 44 years were odds ratio, 4.75; 95% confidence interval, 3.29 to 6.86 and odds ratio, 5.10; 95% confidence interval, 4.15 to 6.25, respectively. Hypertension was the independent predictor of HF admissions in black men ages 20 to 34 years.
CONCLUSIONS - The higher occurrence of HF among young adults in general, particularly among young black men, highlights the need for prevention by identifying modifiable biological and social determinants to reduce cardiovascular health disparities in this vulnerable group.