Acute heart failure (AHF) is a cardiac emergency with an increasing incidence, especially among elderly patients. The Emergency Heart failure Mortality Risk Grade (EHMRG) has been validated to assess the 7-days AHF mortality risk, suggesting the management of patients admitted to an emergency department (ED). EHMRG has never been implemented in Italian ED nor among elderly patients. We aimed to assess EHMRG score accuracy in predicting in-hospital death in a retrospective cohort of elderly subjects admitted for AHF from the ED to an Internal Medicine Department. We enrolled, in a 24-months timeframe, all the patients admitted to an Internal Medicine Department from ED for AHF. We calculated the EHMRG score, subdividing patients into six categories, and assessing in-hospital mortality and length of stay. We evaluated EHMRG accuracy with ROC curve analysis and survival with Kaplan−Meier and Cox models. We collected 439 subjects, with 45 in-hospital deaths (10.3%), observing a significant increase of in-hospital death along with EHMRG class, from 0% (class 1) to 7.7% (class 5b; p < 0.0001). EHMRG was fairly accurate in the whole cohort (AUC: 0.75; 95%CI: 0.68−0.83; p < 0.0001), with the best cutoff observed at >103 (Se: 71.1%; Sp: 72.8%; LR+: 2.62; LR-: 0.40; PPV: 23.0%; NPV: 95.7%), but performed better considering the events in the first seven days of admission (AUC: 0.83; 95%; CI: 0.75−0.91; p < 0.0001). In light of our observations, EHMRG can be useful also for the Italian emergency system to predict the risk of short-term mortality for AHF among elderly patients. EHMRG performance was better in the first seven days but remained acceptable when considering the whole period of hospitalization.
Keywords: EHMRG; acute heart failure; emergency department; prognosis.