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Precious Time - 'Scientists discover how long heart failure patients can expect to live'
Date:2/12/2008

TORONTO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ - Over 5 million people in North America are affected. Heart Failure is the leading cause of hospitalization and for the first time, physicians can now answer the question most patients want to know - "How long do I have doctor?"

Published in the February issue of American Heart Journal, the ICES study identified Ontario patients between 1999 - 2001, who were newly hospitalized and diagnosed with heart failure. Scientists followed these patients over a six year period to determine overall prognosis and various high/low risk patients based on hospital admission characteristics such as: age, blood pressure, blood tests, prior medical history of stroke, cancer and dementia. Lead Author and ICES Scientist, Dr. Dennis Ko says, "Heart failure is a very serious condition with a high recurrence and mortality rate in the elderly with survival worse than many aggressive cancers. Physicians and patients had little understanding of prognosis after hospitalization, this information is crucial to identify patients who may not be suitable for invasive treatment. There is now an opportunity to begin the engagement of discussion in adapting a medical plan and exploring an individual's preference. For the first time, we have a better picture of expected survival in this category of patients and who may benefit for palliative or end of life care."

The ICES results:

- The study sample was restricted to patients who were residents of

Ontario between 20 and 105 years of age

- The average age of heart failure patient was 75.8 years; 50% were

female

- Scientists studied 9,943 patients who were newly hospitalized with

heart failure over a 2 year period, with a median follow up of

6 years.

- The average survival among hospitalized heart failure patients was

2.4 years or 29 months.

- Survival varied substantially across risk groups: average survival


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SOURCE Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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