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Heart Fail Rev. 2012 May;17(3):345-53. doi: 10.1007/s10741-011-9256-0.

The dilemma, causes and approaches to avoid recurrent hospital readmissions for patients with chronic heart failure.

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Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.


Heart failure is a progressive illness that carries significant morbidity and mortality. This highly prevalent illness leads to frequent, costly hospitalizations with approximately 50% of patients being readmitted within 6 months of initial hospitalization. While rehospitalization has been extensively studied in the past, little progress has been made in terms of reducing readmission rates of heart failure patients in the last decade despite increasing costs with impending resource limitations. We discuss disease-centered, physician-centered, and patient-centered factors that lead to rehospitalization as well as community/resource availability factors that contribute to rehospitalization of patients suffering from chronic heart failure. In addition, predictors of hospitalization and interventions that reduce hospitalization will be critically evaluated. With a complete understanding of heart failure rehospitalization, we hope the future holds more effective ways to prevent heart failure progression and thus rehospitalization, improved risk-stratification models to identify patients high-risk for rehospitalization, and sustained interventions that are customized according to the etiology of the clinical decline of heart failure patients that ultimately results in frequent rehospitalizations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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