Background: Heart failure (HF) is associated with a high burden of morbidity and mortality. Hospital discharge is an opportunity for identification of modifiable prognostic factors in the transition to chronic HF.
Methods and results: We examined the association of discharge heart rate with 30-day and 1-year mortality and hospitalization outcomes in a cohort of 9097 patients with HF discharged from hospital. Discharge heart rate was categorized into predefined groups: 40 to 60 (n=1333), 61 to 70 (n=2170), 71 to 80 (n=2631), 81 to 90 (n=1700), and >90 bpm (n=1263). There was a significant increase in all-cause 30-day mortality with adjusted odds ratios of 1.59 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-2.14; P=0.003) for discharge heart rates 81 to 90 bpm and 1.56 (95% CI, 1.13-2.16; P=0.007) for heart rates>90 bpm when compared with the reference group (heart rates, 61-70 bpm). Cardiovascular death risk at 30 days was also higher with adjusted odds ratio 1.59 (discharge heart rates, 81-90 bpm; 95% CI, 1.09-2.33; P=0.017) and 1.65 (discharge heart rates, >90 bpm; 95% CI, 1.09-2.48; P=0.017). One-year all-cause mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.16-1.72; P<0.001) and cardiovascular death (adjusted odds ratio, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.12-1.92; P=0.005) were higher with discharge heart rates>90 bpm when compared with the reference group (heart rates, 40-60 bpm). Readmissions for HF (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.04-1.54; P=0.021) and cardiovascular disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.08-1.54; P=0.004) within 30 days were also higher with discharge heart rates>90 bpm.
Conclusions: Higher discharge heart rates were associated with greater risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality≤1-year follow-up and an elevated risk of 30-day readmission for HF and cardiovascular disease.
Keywords: heart failure; heart rate; hospitalization; mortality; prognosis.