Risk of death, hospital readmission prolonged after heart attack, heart failure

Heart attack or heart failure patients may have a high risk of death or re-admission for a month or longer after leaving the hospital, researchers said at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Scientific Sessions 2013.

"The risks of death and re-hospitalization can extend well beyond 30 days after discharge, the time period used by the federal government for measuring hospital performance," said Kumar Dharmarajan, M.D., M.B.A., lead author of the study and a fellow in cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and visiting scholar at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. "Post-discharge care may be improved when aligned to the periods of greatest risk for patients."

Researchers examined on patients discharged for (878,963) and heart attack (350,509) and found:

  • Within the first year, 41.8 percent of died and 70.3 percent were re-hospitalized.
  • Within the first year, 25.9 percent of died and 50.5 percent were re-hospitalized.
  • The risk of re-hospitalization after heart failure took more than a month (43 days) to decline 50 percent from its peak level after discharge.
  • In the month after a heart attack, the likelihood of death is 21 times higher and the likelihood of hospitalization is 12 times higher than among the general Medicare-age population.
  • In the month after hospitalization for heart failure, the likelihood of death is 17 times higher and the likelihood of hospitalization is 16 times higher than among the general Medicare-age population.

"In the weeks after hospital discharge, your risk of death, re-hospitalization and other complications is very high," Dharmarajan said. "If you feel ill, take it seriously and contact your healthcare provider."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Readmissions frequent in month after hospital discharge

Jan 22, 2013

Following hospitalization for heart attacks, heart failure, or pneumonia, patients are at high risk of being readmitted for a broad spectrum of medical conditions in the month following hospital discharge, research at Yale ...

Getting fit in middle age can reduce heart failure risk

May 15, 2013

Middle aged and out of shape? It's not too late to get fit—and reduce your risk for heart failure, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions ...

Recommended for you

'Face time' for the heart diagnoses cardiac disease

6 hours ago

To the careful observer, a person's face has long provided insight into what is going on beneath the surface. Now, with the assistance of a web camera and software algorithms, the face can also reveal whether or not an individual ...

Pay-for-performance not found to impact access to CABG

Aug 27, 2014

(HealthDay)—For patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), treatment at pay-for-performance (P4P) hospitals is not associated with a change in the rate of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, ...

User comments