Unplanned 30-day readmissions, comorbidity and impact on one-year mortality following incident heart failure hospitalisation in Western Australia, 2001-2015

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BackgroundReadmissions within 30 days after heart failure (HF) hospitalisation is considered an important healthcare quality metric, but their impact on medium-term mortality is unclear within an Australian setting. We determined the frequency, risk predictors and relative mortality risk of 30-day unplanned readmission in patients following an incident HF hospitalisation.MethodsFrom the Western Australian Hospitalisation Morbidity Data Collection we identified patients aged 25-94 years with an incident (first-ever) HF hospitalisation as a principal diagnosis between 2001 and 2015, and who survived to 30-days post discharge. Unplanned 30-day readmissions were categorised by principal diagnosis. Logistic and Cox regression analysis determined the independent predictors of unplanned readmissions in 30-day survivors and the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of readmission on mortality within the subsequent year.ResultsThe cohort comprised 18,241 patients, mean age 74.3 +/- 13.6 (SD) years, 53.5% males, and one-third had a modified Charlson Comorbidity Index score of >= 3. Among 30-day survivors, 15.5% experienced one or more unplanned 30-day readmission, of which 53.9% were due to cardiovascular causes; predominantly HF (31.4%). The unadjusted 1-year mortality was 15.9%, and the adjusted mortality HR in patients with 1 and >= 2 cardiovascular or non-cardiovascular readmissions (versus none) was 1.96 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.80-2.14) and 3.04 (95% CI, 2.51-3.68) respectively. Coexistent comorbidities, including ischaemic heart disease/myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease, pneumonia, chronic kidney disease, and anaemia, were independent predictors of both 30-day unplanned readmission and 1-year mortality.ConclusionUnplanned 30-day readmissions and medium-term mortality remain high among patients who survived to 30 days after incident HF hospitalisation. Any cardiovascular or non-cardiovascular readmission was associated with a two to three-fold higher adjusted HR for death over the following year, and various coexistent comorbidities were important associates of readmission and mortality risk. Our findings support the need to optimize multidisciplinary HF and multimorbidity management to potentially reduce repeat hospitalisation and improve survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


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