Limited data exist about the long-term prognosis of patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) further stratified according to ejection fraction (EF) findings. The primary objective of this population-based observational study was to characterize and compare trends in long-term prognosis after an episode of ADHF across 3 EF strata. Hospital medical records were reviewed for 3,604 residents of the Worcester, Massachusetts, metropolitan area who were discharged after ADHF from all 11 medical centers in central Massachusetts during 1995, 2000, 2002, and 2004 and had EF measurements during their index hospitalizations. The average age of this population was 75 years, most were white, and 44% were men. Approximately 49% of the population had heart failure (HF) with preserved EF (EF ≥ 50%), 37% had HF with reduced EF (EF ≤ 40%), and 14% had HF with borderline EF (EF 41% to 49%). Patients with HF with preserved EF experienced higher postdischarge survival rates than patients with either HF with reduced EF or HF with borderline EF at 1, 2, and 5 years after discharge from all central Massachusetts medical centers. Although prognosis at 1 year after hospital discharge improved for all patient groups during the years under study, especially for those with HF with reduced EF and HF with preserved EF, these encouraging trends decreased with increasing duration of follow-up. In conclusion, although improvements in 1-year postdischarge survival were observed for patients in each of the 3 EF groups examined to varying degrees, the postdischarge prognosis of all patients with ADHF remains guarded.
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