Objective: To compare the incidence of congestive heart failure and the survival in patients with congestive heart failure in Rochester, Minn, in 1981 with that observed in 1991.
Methods: Population-based, descriptive epidemiological study with ecological and individual level comparisons over time. Olmsted County, Minnesota, where the Rochester Epidemiology Project provides passive surveillance of the population for health outcomes. All 248 patients fulfilled the Framingham criteria, 107 patients presenting with the new onset of congestive heart failure in 1981 and 141 patients in 1991. The community inpatient and outpatient medical records of all incident cases were reviewed to evaluate the presenting characteristics of patients at diagnosis.
Results: The incidence of congestive heart failure after adjustment for age and sex to the US population was not significantly different in the 1991 cohort compared with that in 1981 (3.0 per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval, 2.5-3.5 vs 2.8 per 1000 person-years; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-3.3; P = .55). The survival of patients with new diagnosis of congestive heart failure was similar in the 2 cohorts (P = .53). Survival adjusted for age, sex, and New York Heart Association functional class was not significantly different in patients with congestive heart failure in 1981 and 1991 (relative risk, 0.907; P = .55).
Conclusions: These data suggest that recent advances in management of cardiovascular disease, as used in the community, had not yet impacted incidence or survival of patients with congestive heart failure in the community during the 10-year study period. This highlights the need to continue efforts to ensure that advances in diagnosis and therapy are incorporated into the care of patients with congestive heart failure in the community.