Chagas (CH) disease, found throughout Latin America, is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Heart failure is a common (i.e. 10-30%) late outcome for people who develop symptomatic Chagas disease. Studies show that patients with Chagasic heart failure have a worse prognosis than patients with heart failure from other aetiologies. As most people living with CH are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds where access to quality medical care can be limited, the study investigated the equality of patient care between Chagas and non- Chagas heart failure patients in La Fundación Cardioinfantil (FCI), Bogotá, Colombia.
The study was a retrospective cohort study, compiling data from medical files of patients hospitalized for heart failure between 2001-2011. Each CH patient (n=41) was matched with 1-2 comparable non-Chagas (no-CH) patients (n=77).
At the FCI, no differences were observed between care given to CH and no-CH patients, concluding that patients with CH receive a similar standard of care to patients with no-CH. Because this report is not inclusive of other health institutions in Colombia, the FCI is recommended as a model institution for equal patient treatment.