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Int J Cardiol. 2010 Jun 11;141(3):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2008.11.197. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Difference in resource utilization between patients with acute and chronic heart failure from Japanese administrative database.

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Department of Health Care Administration and Management, Kyushu University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan.



Many studies have reported economic evaluation of evolving agents or therapies for patients with heart failure (HF). However, little is known whether the disease progression category (acute or chronic HF) would be considered as a risk adjustment in health service research.


This study profiles the difference in resource use or medical care for acute versus chronic HF.


This study analyzed 17,912 HF patients treated in 62 academic hospitals and 351 community hospitals. Study variables included demographic variables, comorbid status, physical activity or disease progression at admission, procedures and laboratory tests, type and dose of heart-related medications, length of stay (LOS), and total charges (TC; 1 US$= 100 yen) for acute and chronic HF. The independent contributions of disease progression categories on LOS and TC were identified using multivariate analysis.


We identified 9813 chronic and 8099 acute HF patients. Median LOS was 18 days for both chronic and acute HF, whereas TC was US$5731 and US$6447, respectively. Regression analysis revealed that acute HF was associated with a slightly greater TC, whereas performance of procedures was the most prominent factor. As NYHA class was the next most influential factor, class 3 or 4 resulted in longer LOS or greater TC, than did class 1.


This study suggests that acute HF increased resource use slightly, whereas use of some practices indicated in critical care was affected more by the procedures performed. Disease progression category should remain an indicator for appropriateness of medical care.

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