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Monday Best Time for Hospitalization With Heart Failure, Study Says
Date:5/24/2013

FRIDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Patients hospitalized for heart failure appear to have better odds of survival if they're admitted on Mondays or in the morning, a new study finds.

Death rates and length of stay are highest among heart failure patients admitted in January, on Fridays and overnight, according to the researchers, who are scheduled to present their findings Saturday in Portugal at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

"The fact that patients admitted right before the weekend and in the middle of the night do worse and are in the hospital longer suggests that staffing levels may contribute to the findings," Dr. David Kao, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said in a news release from the cardiology society.

"Doctors and hospitals need to be more vigilant during these higher-risk times and ensure that adequate resources are in place to cope with demand," Kao said. "Patients should be aware that their disease is not the same over the course of the year, and they may be at higher risk during the winter. People often avoid coming into the hospital during the holidays because of family pressures and a personal desire to stay at home, but they may be putting themselves in danger."

The study involved 14 years of data on more than 900,000 patients with congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart doesn't properly pump blood to the rest of the body. All of the patients were admitted to hospitals in New York between 1994 and 2007. The researchers analyzed the effect the hour, day and month of the patients' admissions had on death rates and the length of time they spent in the hospital.

Patients admitted between 6 a.m. and noon fared better than evening admissions, the study found.

Although heart failure admissions have increased, the researchers found that death rates and length of hospital stays have declined. "These
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