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chronic heart failure, disease management, multimorbidity, premature readmission



  1. Wiley, Joshua F. PhD
  2. Chan, Yih-Kai PhD
  3. Ahamed, Yasmin PhD
  4. Ball, Jocasta PhD
  5. Carrington, Melinda J. PhD
  6. Riegel, Barbara PhD
  7. Stewart, Simon PhD


Background: Multimorbidity has an adverse effect on health outcomes in hospitalized individuals with chronic heart failure (CHF), but the modulating effect of multidisciplinary management is unknown.


Objective: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that increasing morbidity would independently predict an increasing risk of 30-day readmission despite multidisciplinary management of CHF.


Methods: We studied patients hospitalized for any reason with heart failure receiving nurse-led, postdischarge multidisciplinary management. We profiled a matrix of expected comorbidities involving the most common coexisting conditions associated with CHF and examined the relationship between multimorbidity and 30-day all-cause readmission.


Results: A total of 830 patients (mean age 73 +/- 13 years and 65% men) were assessed. Multimorbidity was common, with an average of 6.6 +/- 2.4 comorbid conditions with sex-based differences in prevalence of 4 of 10 conditions. Within 30 days of initial hospitalization, 216 of 830 (26%) patients were readmitted for any reason. Greater multimorbidity was associated with increasing readmission (4%-44% for those with 0-1 to 8-9 morbid conditions; adjusted odds ratio, 1.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.38) for each additional condition. Three distinct classes of patient emerged: class 1-diabetes, metabolic, and mood disorders; class 2-renal impairment; and class 3-low with relatively fewer comorbid conditions. Classes 1 and 2 had higher 30-day readmission than class 3 did (adjusted P < .01 for both comparisons).


Conclusions: These data affirm that multimorbidity is common in adult CHF inpatients and in potentially distinct patterns linked to outcome. Overall, greater multimorbidity is associated with a higher risk of 30-day all-cause readmission despite high-quality multidisciplinary management. More innovative approaches to target-specific clusters of multimorbidity are required to improve health outcomes in affected individuals.