Background: The ADHERE is designed to study characteristics, management, and outcomes in a broad sample of patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure. Heart failure is a leading cause of hospitalization for adults older than 65 years in the United States. Most available data on these patients are limited by patient selection criteria and study design of clinical trials and single-center studies.
Methods: Participating hospitals identify patients with a primary or secondary discharge diagnosis of heart failure. Medical history, management, treatments, and health outcomes data are collected through review of medical records and entered into a database via secure web browser technology.
Results: As of January 2004, data on 107 362 patients have been received from 282 participating hospitals. Of enrollees with available analyzable data (N = 105 388 from 274 hospitals), the mean age was 72.4 (+/-14.0), and 52% were women. The most common comorbid conditions were hypertension (73%), coronary artery disease (57%), and diabetes (44%). Evidence of mild or no impairment of systolic function was found in 46% of patients. Inhospital mortality was 4.0% and the median hospital length of stay was 4.3 days.
Conclusions: The ADHERE demonstrates both the feasibility and significant implications of gathering representative data on large numbers of patients hospitalized with heart failure. Initial data provided important insights into the clinical characteristics and patterns of care of these patients. Ongoing registry work will provide the framework for improved treatment strategies for patients hospitalized with decompensated heart failure.