Heart failure in Norway, 2000-2014: analysing incident, total and readmission rates using data from the Cardiovascular Disease in Norway (CVDNOR) Project

Eur J Heart Fail. 2020 Feb;22(2):241-248. doi: 10.1002/ejhf.1609. Epub 2019 Oct 23.


Aims: To examine trends in heart failure (HF) hospitalization rates and risk of readmissions following an incident HF hospitalization.

Methods and results: During 2000-2014, we identified in the Cardiovascular Disease in Norway Project 142 109 hospitalizations with HF as primary diagnosis. Trends of incident and total (incident and recurrent) HF hospitalization rates were analysed using negative binomial regression models. Changes over time in 30-day and 3-year risk of HF recurrences or cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related readmissions were analysed using Fine and Grey competing risk regression, with death as competing events. Age-standardized rates declined on average 1.9% per year in men and 1.8% per year in women for incident HF hospitalizations (both Ptrend < 0.001) but did not change significantly in either men or women for total HF hospitalizations. In men surviving the incident HF hospitalization, 30-day and 3-year risk of a HF recurrent event increased 1.7% and 1.2% per year, respectively. Similarly, 30-day and 3-year risk of a CVD-related hospitalization increased 1.5% and 1.0% per year, respectively (all Ptrend < 0.001). No statistically significant changes in the risk of HF recurrences or CVD-related readmissions were observed among women. In-hospital mortality for a first and recurrent HF episode declined over time in both men and women.

Conclusions: Incident HF hospitalization rates declined in Norway during 2000-2014. An increase in the risk of recurrences in the context of reduced in-hospital mortality following an incident and recurrent HF hospitalization led to flat trends of total HF hospitalization rates.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Heart failure; Hospitalization rates; Norway; Readmission rates.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Patient Readmission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors