Arrhythmia and Survival Outcomes Among Black Patients and White Patients With a Primary Prevention Defibrillator


Internal Medicine

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Background: Black Americans have a higher risk of nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) than White Americans. We aimed to evaluate differences in the risk of tachyarrhythmias among patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Methods: The study population comprised 3895 ICD recipients in the United States enrolled in primary prevention ICD trials. Outcome measures included ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VTA), atrial tachyarrhythmia (ATA), ICD therapies, VTA burden (using Andersen-Gill recurrent event analysis), death, and the predicted benefit of the ICD. All events were adjudicated blindly. Outcomes were compared between self-reported Black patients versus White patients with cardiomyopathy (ischemic and NICM).

Results: Black patients were more likely to be female (35% versus 22%) and younger (57±12 versus 62±12 years) with a higher frequency of comorbidities. In NICM, Black patients had a higher rate of first VTA, fast VTA, ATA, and appropriate and inappropriate ICD therapy (VTA ≥ 170 bpm, 32% versus 20%; VTA ≥ 200 bpm, 22% versus 14%; ATA, 25% versus 12%; appropriate therapy, 30% versus 20%; and inappropriate therapy, 25% versus 11%; P< 0.001 for all). Multivariable analysis showed that Black patients with NICM experienced a higher risk of all types of arrhythmia or ICD therapy (VTA ≥ 170 bpm, hazard ratio [HR] 1.71; VTA ≥ 200 bpm, HR 1.58; ATA, HR 1.87; appropriate therapy, HR 1.62; inappropriate therapy, HR 1.86; P≤ 0.01 for all), higher burden of tachyarrhythmias or therapies (VTA, HR 1.84; appropriate therapy, HR 1.84; P< 0.001 for both), and a higher risk of death (HR 1.92; P=0.014). In contrast, in ischemic cardiomyopathy, the risk of all types of tachyarrhythmia, ICD therapy, or death was similar between Black patients and White patients. Both Black patients and White patients derived a significant and similar benefit from ICD implantation.

Conclusions: Among patients with NICM with an ICD for primary prevention, Black patients compared with White patients had a high risk and burden of VTA, ATA, and ICD therapies with a lower survival rate. Nevertheless, the overall benefit of the ICD was maintained and was similar to that of White patients.

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Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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