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J Card Fail. 2008 Aug;14(6):489-96. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 May 27.

Decreasing body temperature predicts early rehospitalization in congestive heart failure.

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Texas Heart Institute at St Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



In congestive heart failure (CHF), a low body temperature at hospital admission predicts in-hospital mortality. We hypothesized that a postdischarge reduction in body temperature predicts early CHF rehospitalization and death.


We reviewed the records of 198 patients discharged after CHF hospitalization. We categorized the patients as hypothermic or normothermic (cutoff point, 36.3 degrees C/97.4 degrees F) according to body temperature at discharge. We classified the 2 groups according to the direction of temperature change between discharge and the first follow-up visit: normothermic/non-decreasing temperature (N+), normothermic/decreasing temperature (N-), hypothermic/non-decreasing temperature (H+), and hypothermic/decreasing temperature (H-).


Ninety-three patients (47%) had decreasing temperatures, and 105 patients (53%) had non-decreasing temperatures. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a significant intergroup difference in survival (P = .01) and rehospitalization time (P = .005). On logistic regression, a decreasing temperature was significantly associated with rehospitalization within 180 days (odds ratio, 4.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.63-10.02; P = .003). On Cox regression, the hazard ratios for death were 3.19 (P = .07), 6.49 (P = .004), and 5.17 (P = .07), for the N-, H+, and H- groups, respectively, versus the N+ group. For rehospitalization time, the hazard ratios were 7.02 (P = .01), 4.24 (P = .08), and 13.43 (P = .005) for the N-, H+, and H- groups, respectively, versus the N+ group.


Decreasing body temperatures can predict readmission, decreased time to rehospitalization, and (in combination with hypothermia) decreased survival.

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