Preventable Hospitalizations for Congestive Heart Failure: Establishing a Baseline to Monitor Trends and Disparities
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Preventable Hospitalizations for Congestive Heart Failure: Establishing a Baseline to Monitor Trends and Disparities

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:

      Preventable hospitalization for congestive heart failure (CHF) is believed to capture the failure of the outpatient health care system to properly manage and treat CHF. In anticipation of changes in the national health care system, we report baseline rates of these hospitalizations and describe trends by race over 15 years.


      We used National Hospital Discharge Survey data from 1995 through 2009, which represent approximately 1% of hospitalizations in the United States each year. We calculated age-, sex-, and race-stratified rates and age- and sex-standardized rates for preventable CHF hospitalizations on the basis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's specifications, which use civilian population estimates from the US Census Bureau as the denominator for rates.


      Approximately three-fourths of the hospitalizations occurred among people aged 65 years or older. In each subgroup and period, rates were significantly higher (P < .05) for blacks than whites. Only black men aged 18 to 44 showed a linear increase (P = .004) in crude rates across time. Subpopulations aged 65 or older, except black men, showed a linear decrease (P < .05) in crude rates over time. Age- and sex-standardized rates showed a significant linear decrease in rates for whites (P = .01) and a borderline decrease for blacks (P = .06)


      Before implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we found that blacks were disproportionately affected by preventable CHF hospitalizations compared with whites. Our results confirm recent findings that preventable CHF hospitalization rates are declining in whites more than blacks. Alarmingly, rates for younger black men are on the rise.

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