Heart failure in immigrant groups: a cohort study of adults aged 45 years and over in Sweden

Objective. An increased risk of being diagnosed with coronary heart disease or atrial fibrillation has been shown among different immigrant groups. However, less is known on the risk of being diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). Design. We studied CHF in immigrants including all adults ≥45 years in Sweden (n = 3,274,119) from 1998 to 2012. CHF was defined as at the first event registered in the National Patient Register. Risk of incident CHF in immigrant groups compared to the Swedish-born population was assessed by Cox regression, stratified by sex, adjusting for age, socio-demographic status, and co-morbidities. Results. During a mean follow-up of 14 years in total, a total of 302,340 (9.2%) events of CHF were registered. We found the following: higher incidence in men from Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, Russia and Africa; among women from Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Central Europe and Finland; lower incidence in men from Iceland, Latin America, Southern Europe, Norway and Western Europe; and among women from Iceland, Southern Europe, Norway, Denmark and Western Europe. Conclusion. It is important to be aware of the increased incidence of CHF in some immigrant groups, especially from countries and areas where the immigrants have been refugees, in order to enable for a timely diagnosis, treatment of and prevention of CHF and its debilitating complications.