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Can J Cardiol. 2017 Oct;33(10):1237-1244. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2017.05.011. Epub 2017 May 24.

Multidisciplinary Heart Failure Clinics Are Associated With Lower Heart Failure Hospitalization and Mortality: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

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McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:
University of Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.
McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, Population Health Research Institute, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Heart and Stroke Richard Lewar Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Heart failure (HF) clinics (HFCs) are an integral aspect of the strategy for community HF care.


A systematic search was conducted to retrieve studies. We searched for candidate articles in the PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases from 1990 to January 2017.


We included 16 randomized controlled trials in the meta-analysis with 3999 patients. The HFC group had a lower incidence of the primary composite end point of HF hospitalization and all-cause mortality (odds ratio [OR], 0.58; P = 0.0003). The benefit was maintained when stratified according to non-nurse led HFCs (OR, 0.52; P = 0.003), clinics that followed-up patients ≥ 3 months (OR, 0.51; P = 0.0009), patients with mean ejection fraction ≤ 30% (OR, 0.39; P = 0.02), and ejection fraction > 30% (OR, 0.72; P = 0.02), and patients with recent hospitalization for HF (OR, 0.51; P = 0.0001). There was no benefit in patients who were seen in HFCs with limited follow-up ≤ 3 months (OR, 0.91; P = 0.69), patients with stable HF without recent hospitalization (OR, 0.95; P = 0.70), and studies published after 2008 (OR, 0.89; P = 0.31). Patients in the HFC group had lower HF hospitalization rates (OR, 0.68; P = 0.003), however, no significant difference in all-cause hospitalization (OR, 1.04; P = 0.33). There was lower all-cause mortality in the HFC group (OR, 0.71; P = 0.006).


The results of our analysis show a benefit of HFC to reduce HF hospitalization, and all-cause mortality. This was a cumulative benefit of all randomized clinical trials that assessed the benefit of HFC, with additional analysis showing a greater benefit among patients with recent emergency room visit or hospitalization, and patients seen frequently in follow-up ≥ 3 months.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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