African American woman educated about heart failure

Heart Failure Care

Multiple factors contribute to racial, gender and ethnic disparities in care for Heart Failure. Grow your awareness of these different risk factors and barriers to care.

Who’s at Risk?

Although fewer people are getting heart failure in the United States, the rate of decline is much lower
in the Black community than in other racial/ethnic groups.1

Despite being thought of having a lower risk, Hispanic patients who are hospitalized for heart failure are younger than whites, have a higher rate of risk factors and higher mortality.2

women in the United States are affected by heart failure.3  


Insight from Underserved Heart Failure Patients

In order to help you understand how to best reach undertreated minority groups at the local level, Boston Scientific commissioned a market research study on traditionally underserved populations across the country. Researchers engaged with people who identified as being either at high risk or who have already been diagnosed with heart failure in order to capture demographic, psycho-graphic and behavioral insights. Below is a snapshot of patients’ perceptions. You can also download a one-page summary.

Download key insights

Barriers to Accessing Heart Failure Care

The market research study found that people with heart failure identify these top obstacles in getting care after diagnosis:

  • 36% cite cost of healthcare or insurance 
  • 36% cite co-morbidities  
  • 18% cite transportation issues 

Barriers to Delayed Heart Failure Care

Those who delayed surgery gave these top reasons:

  1. They thought they were just getting older
  2. They didn’t think it was serious enough to seek urgent care
  3. They were managing their symptoms at home the best they could

Barriers to Heart Failure Treatment

60% of patients decided to put off surgery or a procedure for as long as possible in the past, with these reasons most often cited:

  • 57% were worried about complications
  • 27% were afraid to have the surgery/procedure 
  • 23% were worried about how they would pay for it

What Can Help Underserved Heart Failure Patients


Give Educational Materials

  • 54% prefer printed take-home materials
  • 34% want downloadable materials
  • 40% want information on diet and exercise


Increase Communication & Access

  • 54% name weekend appointments
  • 42% say online appointments 
  • 40% ask for emails from a specialist


Connect with Your Patients

  • 19% of patients with heart failure report getting nervous around doctors, which means that they might not feel comfortable telling you about symptoms or concerns
  • You may want to consider addressing the priorities they named: to be informed and be partners in their care

Healthcare Disparity Details

Clinical research diversity

Increase Clinical Research Diversity

A total of 60% of heart failure patient respondents say they’re “somewhat” or “very” likely to participate in a clinical trial – but 70% have never been asked to participate in one.  Learn about opportunities for increasing research diversity and find educational materials to inform your patients. 

Untreated areas around you

Who’s Going Untreated in Your Area?

Boston Scientific can provide you with a zip-code specific Disparity Index Report with epidemiological data on the health challenges impacting your community.

How Can Close The Gap Support You?

Boston Scientific dedicated Health Equity Consultants are here to build a personalized program
to help you target your at-risk demographics – at no expense to you.


1,2 American Heart Association (2019). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2019 update.
3 Cleveland Clinic