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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013 Mar 1;70(5):414-22. doi: 10.2146/ajhp120461.

Readmission among hospitalized patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation.

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Truven Health Analytics, Washington, DC, USA.



Hospital readmission rates for patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF), as well as reasons and risk factors for rehospitalization, were investigated.


Demographic, clinical, and prescription claims data on patients hospitalized for atrial fibrillation (AF) over a five-year period were extracted from insurance claims databases; from that data set, a subset of adults with NVAF on whom continuous data were available before and after the index admission (n = 6439) was identified, and their 30-day readmission rate was examined.


The overall 30-day readmission rate was 18.0%. The five most common readmission diagnoses (grouped per International Classification of Diseases codes) were general and other nonspecific symptoms (12.8% of readmitted patients), AF (10.2%), ischemic heart disease (7.2%), heart failure (7.1%) and cerebrovascular disease (6.0%). Controlling for demographic and clinical variables,index admission factors associated with an increased risk of readmission included a longer hospital length of stay, higher Charlson Comorbidity Index scores, and admission through the emergency room (p ≤ 0.01 for all). For the subset of patients discharged from the index admission to home self-care (n = 1161), no individual follow-up care measure evaluated (a physician or other medical office visit, International Normalized Ratio testing, filling an anticoagulant prescription) taken within 7 days of discharge correlated with reduced readmission risk during postdischarge days 8-30.


The 30-day readmission rate for patients hospitalized with NVAF was comparable to rates previously documented among patients with other cardiac conditions. Symptoms, AF, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, and cerebrovascular disease were the most common reasons for readmission.

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