Hospitalization, mortality rates higher for heart failure patients in winter

A study found that hospitalizations and deaths from heart failure were highest in January and February and lowest in summer.
A study found that hospitalizations and deaths from heart failure were highest in January and February and lowest in summer.

(HealthDay News) —  Hospitalization and mortality rates for heart failure patients are higher during the winter, according to two studies to be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

In one study, Emmanuel Akintoye, MD, of the Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from about 600,000 heart failure hospital admissions between 2011 and 2013. Patients admitted in the winter were 6% more likely to die than those admitted in the spring, and 11% more likely to die than those admitted in the summer or fall. The median cost for heart failure hospitalizations in the winter was $7,459, compared with $7,181 in the summer.

In the second study, Soumya Patnaik, MD, of the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues found similar results. The investigators analyzed data from nearly 2 million heart failure hospitalizations in the United States between 2002 and 2011. Patnaik and colleagues found that hospitalizations and deaths from heart failure were highest in January and February and lowest in summer, even in parts of the United States with overall warmer temperatures.

"Over 5.5 million people live with heart failure in the United States, and it's one of the leading causes of hospitalization. But little to nothing has been known about how seasonal variation impacts hospitalization outcomes nationally," Dr Akintoye said in a news release from the American College of Cardiology. Learning more about seasonal differences can benefit doctors, hospital administrators, and patients, he added.

Reference

  1. More Hospitalizations, Deaths for U.S. Heart Failure Patients in Winter [press release]. American College of Cardiology. March 8, 2017.
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