Heart Failure Hospitalizations Down From 1998 to 2008

Decrease in all gender-race categories, with black men showing the lowest rate of decline

TUESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Overall heart failure hospitalization rates in the United States declined significantly from 1998 to 2008, with black men showing the lowest rate of decline, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jersey Chen, M.D., M.P.H., from the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues investigated the national and regional (by state or territory) trends in heart failure hospitalization rates and one-year mortality rates in the United States. Data for 55,097,390 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized between 1998 and 2008 were assessed for changes in patient demographics, comorbidities, and heart failure hospitalization and one-year mortality rates.

The investigators found that, after adjusting for age, gender, and race, the heart failure hospitalization rates per 100,000 person-years decreased significantly from 2,845 in 1998 to 2,007 in 2008, with a relative decline of 29.5 percent. Across all gender-race categories, the age-adjusted hospitalization rates decreased, with black men showing the lowest rate of decline in hospitalization rate (from 4,142 to 3,201 per 100,000 person-years), and this persisted even after adjusting for age. Compared to the national mean, there was a significantly faster decline in heart failure hospitalization rates in 16 states, and a slower decline in three states. The decline in risk-adjusted one-year mortality from 1999 to 2008 was 31.7 to 29.6 percent, with a relative decline of 6.6 percent. One-year mortality rates significantly increased in five states and decreased in four states.

"The overall heart failure hospitalization rate declined substantially from 1998 to 2008 but at a lower rate for black men," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with Medtronic Inc.

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