Predictors of cause-specific hospital readmission in patients with heart failure

Zaruhi V. Babayan, Robert L. McNamara, Nagaprasad Nagajothi, Edward K. Kasper, Haroutune K. Armenian, Neil R. Powe, Kenneth L. Baughman, João A.C. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Repeated hospital readmissions are frequent and increasing over time in patients with heart failure (HF). The predictors for readmission in patients with HF are not completely understood. Hypothesis: The study was undertaken to investigate the time course of readmission by specific cause in patients with HF, and to examine the independent effects of HF etiology and left ventricular (LV) function on cause-specific readmissions. Methods: A retrospective cohort of 493 consecutive patients with HF was followed for readmission for 16.5 ± 12.3 months. Ischemic etiology of HF was defined as history of myocardial infarction (MI), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), or ≥ 70% coronary stenosis. Left ventricular function was assessed echocardiographically. Cause-specific readmissions were classified as HF, cardiovascular disease (CVD) other than HF, and other non-CVD. Results: The annual readmission rate was 56.6%. Median time to readmission was 91 days, with 18.3% patients readmitted within 1 month after discharge. Ischemic etiology independently predicted all-cause readmission: Cox hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.40 (1.11-1.79). This relationship was significant in women (1.83 [1.31-2.55]), but not in men (1.15 [0.82-1.62]), while readmissions were equally frequent in both genders. Similarly, ischemic etiology significantly predicted readmission for CVD in women (4.18 [2.14-8.19]), but not in men (1.49 [0.83-2.67]). However, LV dysfunction independently predicted readmission for recurrent HF (2.44 [1.46-4.08]), while ischemic etiology was not predictive in either gender. Conclusions: Readmissions for recurrent HF comprise only one-third of total hospital readmissions in patients with HF. Ischemic etiology is a significant predictor of readmission, and most of this effect is mediated through a four-fold increased risk of readmission for CVD other than HF in women. Readmission for recurrent HF is predicted by LV dysfunction but not by ischemic etiology. Patients with HF can be accurately risk stratified for cause-specific readmission with available clinical data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Congestive heart failure
  • Gender
  • Hospital readmission
  • Ischemic etiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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