Background: Hospital staffing is usually reduced on weekends, potentially impacting inpatient care and postdischarge coordination of care for patients with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). However, investigations of in-hospital mortality on the weekend versus weekday, and post-hospital outcomes of weekend versus weekday discharge are scarce. Methods and Results: Hospitalizations for ADHF were sampled by stratified design from 4 US areas by the Community Surveillance component of the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study. ADHF was classified by a standardized computer algorithm and physician review of the medical records. Discharges or deaths on Saturday, Sunday, or national holidays were considered to occur on the “weekend.” In-hospital mortality was compared between hospitalizations ending on a weekend versus weekday. Post-hospital (28-day) mortality was compared among patients discharged alive on a weekend versus weekday. From 2005 to 2014, 39 699 weighted ADHF hospitalizations were identified (19% terminating on a weekend). Demographics, comorbidities, length of stay, and guideline-directed therapies were similar for patients with hospitalizations ending on a weekend versus weekday. In-hospital death doubled on the weekend compared with weekday (12% versus 6%) and was not attenuated by adjustment for potential confounders (odds ratio, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.93–2.91). There was no association between weekend discharge and 28-day mortality among patients discharged alive. Conclusions: The risk of in-hospital death among patients admitted with ADHF appears to be doubled on the weekends when hospital staffing is usually reduced. However, among patients discharged alive, hospital discharge on a weekend is not adversely associated with mortality.
- acute heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine