Increases in heart failure visits after Christmas and New Year's Day

Congest Heart Fail. 2008 Nov-Dec;14(6):307-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7133.2008.00021.x.


The authors hypothesized increased emergency department (ED) visits for heart failure (HF) during a 2-week Christmas holiday period similar to a recent study showing increased cardiac death rates. A retrospective analysis was performed from a database of 18 EDs in New Jersey and New York from January 1, 1996, to November 30, 2004, analyzing HF visits from December 1 to January 31. The authors compared the mean daily visits for the 2-week holiday period of December 25 to January 7, as well as December 26 to December 30 and January 2 to January 5, using the Student t test. A total of 4.7 million patients were studied, 65,646 with an ED diagnosis of HF and 11,525 during January and December. There was a 23% (95% confidence interval [CI], 14%-31%; P<.001) increase in daily visits for December 25 to January 7 and a 33% (95% CI, 16%-51%; P=.007) and 30% (95% CI, 22%-38%; P<.01) increase in the 4 days following Christmas and New Year's, respectively. The authors found a significant increase in daily HF visits in the 2-week holiday period and the 4 days following the holidays, even greater than that reported for sudden cardiac death.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Holidays*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Time Factors