Hospitalization of patients with heart failure: National Hospital Discharge Survey, 1985 to 1995

Am Heart J. 1999 Feb;137(2):352-60. doi: 10.1053/hj.1999.v137.95495.


Background: In the United States, heart failure has emerged as the leading first-listed diagnosis among hospitalized older adults.

Methods: The number and prevalence of hospitalizations, procedure use, and discharge outcomes for men and women aged >/=35 years hospitalized with heart failure were estimated from National Hospital Discharge Survey data for the years 1985 through 1995.

Results: In 10 years, the number of hospitalizations increased from 577,000 to 871,000 for a first-listed diagnosis and from 1.7 to 2.6 million for any diagnosis of heart failure. Almost 78% of men and 85% of women hospitalized with heart failure were aged >/=65 years. Among persons hospitalized with any diagnosis of heart failure, in-hospital mortality rate decreased from 1985 to 1995 whereas prevalence of discharge to long-term care increased. In 1995, 67% of male patients were discharged home, 12% were discharged to long-term care, and 8% died during hospitalization; the corresponding values for female patients were 58%, 21%, and 8%. Men had twice the prevalence of invasive cardiac procedures as did women during hospitalization.

Conclusions: The growing burden of heart failure can be expected to increase during the next decade unless innovative interventions and primary and secondary prevention strategies are implemented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys / statistics & numerical data
  • Heart Failure / economics
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / trends
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology