Study: Heart failure hospitalizations dropped significantly over 10 years

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The likelihood of being hospitalized for heart failure was roughly 30% less in 2008 than 1998, a new study revealed.

Rates of hospitalization for black males fell at a lower rate, while one-year mortality rates fell slightly during this period, Yale researchers found.

Using data from 55,097,390 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized in the United States and Puerto Rico between 1998 and 2008, the investigators analyzed trends in heart failure hospitalization rates and one-year mortality rates post-heart failure hospitalization.

"The overall decline in the heart failure hospitalization rate was mainly due to fewer individual patients being hospitalized with heart failure rather than a reduction in the frequency of repeat hospitalizations," said lead researcher Jersey Chen, M.D. “Also, the substantial geographic variation in heart failure hospitalization and one-year mortality rates represent marked differences in outcomes that are not explained by insurance status.”

The study was published in the Oct. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.