Hospitalizations for heart failure on the rise

Hospitalizations for heart failure appear to be increasing in the United States, according to new research published in JAMA Cardiology.

The study’s authors explored information from the Nationwide Readmissions Database, including data from more than 5 million patients with a single hospitalization for heart failure and more than 1.2 million patients with two or more hospitalizations.  The mean patient age was 72.1 years old, and 51.1% of patients were men.

Overall, the heart failure hospitalization rate per 1,000 adults jumped from 4.2 in 2014 to 4.9 in 2017. This comes after the number actually decreased from 4.4 in 2010 to 4.1 in 2013.

The same trend—increasing from 2014 to 2017 after a recent decrease—was also observed in all-cause 30-day readmissions among heart failure patients.

The team behind the study noted that “shifts in administrative coding practices, increase use of heart failure biomarkers or lower thresholds for diagnosis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction” could potentially be responsible for this shift.

“Future studies are needed to verify our findings to better develop and improve individualized strategies for heat failure prevention, management, and surveillance for men and women,” wrote lead author Manyoo A. Agarwal, MD, a cardiologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and colleagues.

The full study is available here.