Higher Mortality Risk in Older Patients Readmitted After Heart Failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cherinne Arundel, MD
Washington DC VA Medical Center and
Phillip H. Lam, MD
Georgetown University Hospital/Washington Hospital Center,
Washington, DC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Drs. Arundel and Lam: Over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries are hospitalized every year for heart failure, and about a quarter of these patients are readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge making heart failure the leading cause for 30-day all-cause readmissions among adults 65 years of age and older in the United States.

Such high numbers contribute to a significant portion of our healthcare cost, the reduction of which is a goal of the new healthcare law. In the current study, we examined the impact of readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge on patient outcomes and cost.

The main findings of our study show that older heart failure patients readmitted within 30 days of hospital discharge are at a significantly higher risk of death in the first year of follow-up when compared with those who were not readmitted. This high risk of death persisted during longer follow-up and was also associated with higher cost and longer hospital stay.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Drs. Arundel and Lam: Reducing readmission in hospitalized heart failure patients not only saves cost but also saves lives.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Drs. Arundel and Lam: Future studies need to develop and test interventions to prevent hospital admissions and subsequent readmissions in patients with heart failure.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Drs. Arundel and Lam: Future studies also need to examine the impact of a readmission within 30 days of hospital discharge in patients with other diseases such as diabetes, pneumonia, acute coronary artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Association of 30-day All-cause Readmission with Long-term Outcomes in Hospitalized Older Medicare Beneficiaries with Heart Failure
Arundel, Cherinne et al.
The American Journal of Medicine , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.06.018

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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