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Am J Med. 2006 Jul;119(7):616.e1-7.

National trends in outcomes among elderly patients with heart failure.

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Mid America Heart Institute of Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO, USA.



Despite dramatic changes in heart failure management during the 1990s, little is known about the national heart failure mortality trends during this time period, particularly among the elderly. The purpose of this study was to determine temporal trends in outcomes of elderly patients with heart failure between 1992 and 1999.


We analyzed a national sample of 3,957,520 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or more who were hospitalized with heart failure between 1992 and 1999, assessing temporal trends in 30-day and 1-year all-cause mortality and 30-day and 6-month all-cause hospital readmission. In risk-adjusted analyses, mortality and readmission for each year between 1994 and 1999 were compared with the referent year of 1993.


Crude 30-day and 1-year mortality decreased slightly (range for 1992-1999: 11.0%-10.3% and 32.5%-31.7%, respectively), whereas 30-day and 6-month readmission increased (10.2%-13.8% and 35.4%-40.3%, respectively). After risk adjustment, there was no change in 30-day mortality between 1993 and 1999 (eg, for 1999 vs 1993, odds ratio [OR] 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.02). One-year mortality was lower in 1994 compared with 1993 (OR 0.91, 95% CI, 0.90-0.92), but data from subsequent years suggested no continuous improvement after 1994 (1999 vs 1993: OR 0.93, 95% CI, 0.92-0.94). Thirty-day readmission increased (1999 vs 1993: OR 1.09, 95% CI, 1.07-1.10), but there was no change in 6-month readmission (1999 vs 1993: OR 1.00, 95% CI, 0.99-1.01).


We found no substantial improvement in mortality and hospital readmission during the 1990s among elderly patients hospitalized with heart failure. These findings suggest that recent innovations in heart failure management have not yet translated into better outcomes in this population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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