Systolic function, readmission rates, and survival among consecutively hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure
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We sought to describe the relation between left ventricular systolic function and rates of hospital readmission and survival among consecutively hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure. Medical records were reviewed for these patients at an academic medical center between Jan. 1, 1992, and Dec. 31, 1993. Left ventricular systolic function assessments performed within 6 months before discharge were used to classify left ventricular systolic function. Hospital readmission rates and survival through Dec. 31, 1994, were compared between patients with systolic dysfunction and those with preserved systolic function. Among 412 patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure, 224 had undergone a left ventricular function assessment during the 6 months before hospital discharge. In-hospital mortality and readmission rates were higher among patients without a recent assessment of left ventricular systolic function. Of patients with systolic dysfunction, 55% versus 41% of patients with preserved systolic function were either readmitted or had an emergency room visit within 6 months after discharge (p = 0.06). At 27 months' follow-up, cumulative survival probabilities were 65% for patients with preserved systolic function, 65% for patients with systolic dysfunction, and 60% for patients without a left ventricular systolic function assessment (p = 0.24). Patients without a recent left ventricular systolic function assessment have significantly higher hospital readmission rates than patients with a recent systolic function assessment. Among hospitalized patients, mortality rates are comparable between patients with systolic dysfunction and those with preserved systolic function. However, patients with heart failure with systolic dysfunction may have higher readmission rates.
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