Inpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Soon After Hospitalization for Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: A PROPENSITY SCORE STUDY

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Postdischarge management of acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) remains an ongoing challenge. We sought to assess whether inpatient cardiac rehabilitation (CR) soon after hospitalization for ADHF improves outcome.


Patients (N = 275) hospitalized for ADHF were enrolled. The primary outcome was a composite of all-cause mortality and urgent heart transplantation (UHT) at 1 year. The followup started at the time of discharge from the acute care setting. Because of the observational nature of the study, a propensity score analysis was used to predict the likelihood of undergoing CR. A multivariable Cox regression analysis adjusted for propensity score was used to assess the effect of CR on the primary outcome.


Of the 275 patients, 130 underwent CR. Among the baseline variables of the index hospitalization for ADHF, propensity score derivation identified male gender, New York Heart Association Class IV, refractory HF, moderate to severe mitral or tricuspid regurgitation, nonuse of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors, and daily dosage of furosemide, as being independently associated with the likelihood of undergoing CR. No patient was lost to followup. During the 12-month followup, 74 patients died and 3 underwent UHT. The overall incidence of the primary outcome was 28%. On propensity score–adjusted Cox multivariable analysis, the relative risk of the primary outcome for participants in CR compared with nonparticipants in CR was 0.58 (confidence interval [CI]: 0.34–0.99; P = .04).


Results suggest that the strategy of inpatient CR soon after discharge from the acute care setting improves 1-year UHT-free survival of patients with ADHF.

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