Context: It is not known whether recent declines in ischemic heart disease and its risk factors have been accompanied by declines in heart failure (HF) hospitalization and mortality.
Objective: To examine changes in HF hospitalization rate and 1-year mortality rate in the United States, nationally and by state or territory.
Design, setting, and participants: From acute care hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico, 55,097,390 fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized between 1998 and 2008 with a principal discharge diagnosis code for HF.
Main outcome measures: Changes in patient demographics and comorbidities, HF hospitalization rates, and 1-year mortality rates.
Results: The HF hospitalization rate adjusted for age, sex, and race declined from 2845 per 100,000 person-years in 1998 to 2007 per 100,000 person-years in 2008 (P < .001), a relative decline of 29.5%. Age-adjusted HF hospitalization rates declined over the study period for all race-sex categories. Black men had the lowest rate of decline (4142 to 3201 per 100,000 person-years) among all race-sex categories, which persisted after adjusting for age (incidence rate ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.79-0.84). Heart failure hospitalization rates declined significantly faster than the national mean in 16 states and significantly slower in 3 states. Risk-adjusted 1-year mortality decreased from 31.7% in 1999 to 29.6% in 2008 (P < .001), a relative decline of 6.6%. One-year mortality rates declined significantly in 4 states but increased in 5 states.
Conclusions: The overall HF hospitalization rate declined substantially from 1998 to 2008 but at a lower rate for black men. The overall 1-year mortality rate declined slightly over the past decade but remains high. Changes in HF hospitalization and 1-year mortality rates were uneven across states.