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Fewer Patients Hospitalized for Heart Failure, U.S. Study Finds
Date:10/19/2011

re dropped 29.5 percent during the period. The drop in hospitalization was seen in all groups, but the decline was lowest among black men, the study authors noted.

The rate of decline in heart failure hospitalizations varied by state, Chen's group found. In 16 states, the drop was higher than the national average. The greatest drop was seen in Vermont, but in Wyoming, Rhode Island and Connecticut the decline was significantly lower than the national average, the researchers reported.

In addition, deaths at one year from heart failure also decreased from 31.7 percent in 1999 to 29.6 percent in 2008.

The drop in deaths also varied by state, with four states having a statistically significant decline and five states where deaths increased significantly. Deaths ranged from a low of 29.1 percent in Maine to a high of 35.2 percent in Arizona, the investigators found.

Dr. Mihai Gheorghiade, associate director of the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and co-author of an accompanying editorial, said that "the study is encouraging, but we still have a big problem with mortality and morbidity."

"The good news is that we have most of the ingredients to improve outcomes," Gheorghiade said.

Heart failure, he noted, is not one disease, but is a catch-all for different disorders. These can include a problem with a heart valve, heart muscle or coronary arteries, Gheorghiade explained.

"There is specific therapy for different types of heart failure," he said.

Although there are fewer people being hospitalized for heart failure, there are still too many people suffering from the condition and being hospitalized, Gheorghiade said. "The rate is still very high," he noted.

Gheorghiade thinks these numbers can be reduced further with better adherence to the treatment guidelines and improved care. "If you apply the guidelines, if you give the available therapy, there is huge
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