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Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes. 2018 Apr 1;4(2):98-105. doi: 10.1093/ehjqcco/qcx040.

Trends in acute pericarditis hospitalizations and outcomes among the elderly in the USA, 1999-2012.

Author information

Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale University, 1 Church Street, Suite 200, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, 622 W 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Cardiology Research Foundation, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, USA.
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
University Cardiology, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Department, AOU Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Corso Bramante 88/90, Torino 10126, Italy.
Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 330 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
Department of Health Policy and Management, Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.



The elderly are at risk of pericarditis from conditions such as malignancy, renal disease, and after cardiac surgery. However, the burden of pericarditis and, especially, the long-term outcomes associated with pericarditis have not been described before among the elderly.

Methods and results:

We examined hospitalization rates; in-hospital, 30-day, and 1-year all-cause mortality rates; all-cause 30-day readmission rates; length of stay and health care expenditure for Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older with a principal discharge diagnosis of pericarditis from 1999 to 2012. A total of 45 504 hospitalizations were identified. The hospitalization rate for pericarditis remained stable at 26 per 100 000 person-years across the study period and was consistently higher among men and the oldest old. The adjusted all-cause 30-day mortality rates decreased from 7.6% [95% confidence interval (CI) 6.9-8.2] in 1999 to 5.7% (95% CI 4.5-7.1) in 2012 and all-cause 1-year mortality rates decreased from 19.7% (95% CI 18.8-20.8) in 1999 to 17.3% (95% CI 15.3-20) in 2011 respectively. The 30-day all-cause readmission rate remained unchanged at 18% across the study period. The length of stay ranged from a mean of 5.8 days in 1999 to 5.5 days in 2012. The consumer price index adjusted cost per hospitalization increased from $8404 in 1999 to $9982 in 2012.


The hospitalization rate for acute pericarditis has remained unchanged among older adults. Although mortality rates associated with pericarditis have improved, hospitalization for pericarditis continues to signal a high risk of dying within a year.

[Available on 2019-04-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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