Management and outcomes of congestive heart failure: A prospective study of hospitalised patients

Julia M. Lowe*, Paula M. Candlish, David A. Henry, John H. Wlodarcyk, Richard F. Heller, Peter J. Fletcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To characterise the morbidity, mortality and patterns of care for patients hospitalised with congestive heart failure (CHF). Design: Prospective cohort study with one-year follow-up. Patients: 409 patients aged 60 years and over admitted to hospital with congestive heart failure between 1 May and 30 November 1993. Setting: John Hunter Hospital (tertiary referral for cardiology) and Mater Hospital (non-tertiary referral for cardiology), Newcastle, New South Wales. Outcome measures: Length of hospital stay (LOS); unplanned readmissions; mortality at 28 days and one year; and relationship between outcomes and patient and disease characteristics determined by multivariate analysis. Results: Annual hospitalisation rate for CHF in the 60 years and over age group was 783/100,000, with CHF accounting for 10.9% of patients in this age group. Median LOS was eight days, and varied significantly between hospitals. ACE inhibitors were being taken by 66% of subjects at discharge. Rate of unplanned readmissions within 28 days was 20%. Mortality was 12.5% at 28 days and 33% at one year. For a first admission for CHF, 28-day mortality was lower than for readmissions (odds ratio, 0.25; 95% confidence interval, 0.1-0.62), and average LOS was 17% lower. Increasing age and renal impairment were significantly associated with higher one-year mortality. Greater comorbidity was associated significantly with longer LOS and non-significantly with higher 28-day and one-year mortality. Conclusions: CHF is a common reason for admission, often results in unplanned readmissions, and has a high mortality. Undertreatment with ACE inhibitors continues. The importance of avoiding recurrent admissions was clear. A program of intensive case management may reduce the burden attributable to CHF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


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