Hospital readmissions for heart failure (HF) contribute to increased morbidity and resource burden. Predictors of hospitalization and patterns of cardiovascular events over the lifetime of patients with HF have not been elucidated.
We examined recurrent hospitalizations,cardiovascular events,and survival among newly discharged (April 1999–March 2001) patients with HF in the Enhanced Feedback For Effective Cardiac Treatment phase 1 study. During 10-year follow-up,we examined all new cardiovascular hospitalizations and selected predictors of readmission. Among 8543 patients (mean age,77.4±10.5 years;51.6% women) followed for 22 567 person-years,60.7% had ischemic etiology,and 67.3% had HF with reduced ejection fraction (left ventricular ejection fraction ≤45% versus >45% [HF with preserved ejection fraction]). Overall,10-year mortality was 98.8%,with 35 966 hospital readmissions occurring over the lifetime of the cohort. Adjusted hazards ratios (HRs) for first cardiovascular hospitalization were 1.36 for ischemic HF (95% CI,1.28–1.44;P<0.001),1.10 for HF with reduced ejection fraction (95% CI;1.00–1.20;P=0.045),and 1.00 for men (95% CI,0.94–1.06;P=0.979). On repeated-events time-to-event analysis,ischemic HF was a predictor of cardiovascular (HR,1.24;95% CI,1.18–1.29),HF (HR,1.20;95% CI,1.13–1.27),and coronary heart disease (HR,2.01;95% CI,1.81–2.24) hospitalizations (all P<0.001). Of all recurrent HF hospitalizations,26.8% occurred in the first and 39.8% in the last deciles of cohort survival duration. Similarly,29.7% and 52.3% of all cardiovascular readmissions occurred in the first and last deciles of the cohort survival duration,respectively.
Among newly discharged patients with HF,cardiovascular events were clustered at early postdischarge and prefatal time periods,and were increased among those with ischemic etiology.