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Circ Heart Fail. 2011 May;4(3):308-16. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.110.959031. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Socioeconomic status, Medicaid coverage, clinical comorbidity, and rehospitalization or death after an incident heart failure hospitalization: Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort (1987 to 2004).

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.



Among patients with heart failure (HF), early readmission or death and repeat hospitalizations may be indicators of poor disease management or more severe disease.


We assessed the association of neighborhood median household income (nINC) and Medicaid status with rehospitalization or death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities cohort study (1987 to 2004) after an incident HF hospitalization in the context of individual socioeconomic status and evaluated the relationship for modification by demographic and comorbidity factors. We used generalized linear Poisson mixed models to estimate rehospitalization rate ratios and 95% CIs and Cox regression to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs of rehospitalization or death. In models controlling for race and study community, sex, age at HF diagnosis, body mass index, hypertension, educational attainment, alcohol use, and smoking, patients with a high burden of comorbidity who were living in low-nINC areas at baseline had an elevated hazard of all-cause rehospitalization (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.77), death (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.80), and rehospitalization or death (HR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.08 to 1.70) as well as increased rates of hospitalization compared to those with a high burden of comorbidity living in high-nINC areas. Medicaid recipients with a low level of comorbidity had an increased hazard of all-cause rehospitalization (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.36) and rehospitalization or death (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.37) and a higher rate of repeat hospitalizations compared to non-Medicaid recipients.


Comorbidity burden appears to influence the association among nINC, Medicaid status, and rehospitalization and death in patients with HF.

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