Trends in heart failure hospitalizations, patient characteristics, in-hospital and 1-year mortality: A population study, from 2000 to 2012 in Lombardy.

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This study was undertaken to evaluate trends in heat failure hospitalizations (HFHs) and 1-year mortality of HFH in Lombardy, the largest Italian region, from 2000 to 2012.


Hospital discharge forms with HF-related ICD-9 CM codes collected from 2000 to 2012 by the regional healthcare service (n=699797 in 370538 adult patients), were analyzed with respect to in-hospital and 1-year mortality; Group (G) 1 included most acute HF episodes with primary cardiac diagnosis (70%); G2 included cardiomyopathies without acute HF codes (17%); and G3 included non-cardiac conditions with HF as secondary diagnosis (13%). Patients experiencing their first HFH since 2005 were analyzed as incident cases (n=216782).


Annual HFHs number (mean 53830) and in-hospital mortality (9.4%) did not change over the years, the latter being associated with increasing age (p<0.0001) and diagnosis Group (G1 9.1%, G2 5.6%, G3 15.9%, p<0.0001). Incidence of new cases decreased over the years (3.62 [CI 3.58-3.67] in 2005 to 3.13 [CI 3.09-3.17] in 2012, per 1000 adult inhabitants/year, p<0.0001), with an increasing proportion of patients aged ≥85y (22.3% to 31.4%, p<0.0001). Mortality lowered over time in <75y incident cases, both in-hospital (5.15% to 4.36%, p<0.0001) and at 1-year (14.8% to 12.9%, p=0.0006).


The overall burden and mortality of HFH appear stable for more than a decade. However, from 2005 to 2012, there was a reduction of new, incident cases, with increasing age at first hospitalization. Meanwhile, both in-hospital and 1-year mortality decreased in patients aged <75y, possibly due to improved prevention and treatment.

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