BALTIMORE, May 16, 2013 ― Heart attack or heart failure patients may have a high risk of death or re-admission for a month or longer after leaving the hospital, researchers said at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Scientific Sessions 2013.
“The risks of death and re-hospitalization can extend well beyond 30 days after discharge, the time period used by the federal government for measuring hospital performance,” said Kumar Dharmarajan, M.D., M.B.A., lead author of the study and a fellow in cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and visiting scholar at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. “Post-discharge care may be improved when aligned to the periods of greatest risk for patients.”
Researchers examined Medicare data on patients discharged for heart failure (878,963) and heart attack (350,509) and found:
“In the weeks after hospital discharge, your risk of death, re-hospitalization and other complications is very high,” Dharmarajan said. “If you feel ill, take it seriously and contact your healthcare provider.”
Co-authors are Angela F. Hsieh, Ph.D.; Vivek T. Kulkarni, A.B.; Zhenqiu Lin, Ph.D.; Joseph S. Ross, M.D., M.H.S.; Leora I Horwitz, M.D., M.H.S.; Nancy Kim, M.D., Ph.D.; Lisa G. Suter, M.D.; Susannah M. Bernheim, M.D., M.H.S.; Elizabeth E. Drye, M.D., S.M.; Sharon-Lise Normand, Ph.D., M.Sc.; and Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., M.S.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded the study. Additional disclosures are on the abstract.
Follow news from the Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2013 via Twitter @HeartNews; #QCOR13.
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