Study objective: Many adults with syncope are hospitalized solely for observation and testing. We seek to determine whether hospitalization versus outpatient management for older adults with unexplained syncope is associated with a reduction in postdisposition serious adverse events at 30 days.
Methods: We performed a propensity score analysis using data from a prospective, observational study of older adults with unexplained syncope or near syncope who presented to 11 emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. We enrolled adults (≥60 years) who presented with syncope or near syncope. We excluded patients with a serious diagnosis identified in the ED. Clinical and laboratory data were collected on all patients. The primary outcome was rate of post-ED serious adverse events at 30 days.
Results: We enrolled 2,492 older adults with syncope and no serious ED diagnosis from April 2013 to September 2016. Mean age was 73 years (SD 8.9 years), and 51% were women. The incidence of serious adverse events within 30 days after the index visit was 7.4% for hospitalized patients and 3.19% for discharged patients, representing an unadjusted difference of 4.2% (95% confidence interval 2.38% to 6.02%). After propensity score matching on risk of hospitalization, there was no statistically significant difference in serious adverse events at 30 days between the hospitalized group (4.89%) and the discharged group (2.82%) (risk difference 2.07%; 95% confidence interval -0.24% to 4.38%).
Conclusion: In our propensity-matched sample of older adults with unexplained syncope, for those with clinical characteristics similar to that of the discharged cohort, hospitalization was not associated with improvement in 30-day serious adverse event rates.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01802398.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.