The major factor that determines the cost of treating heart failure is the high incidence of hospitalization. A large percentage of health care costs associated with heart failure are because of the need to hospitalize patients. Patients with heart failure are at high risk for hospitalization. Results of a National Hospital Discharge Survey show that the number of hospitalizations for heart failure has increased substantially, from more than 400,000 in 1979 to more than 1.1 million in 2004, accounting for almost 2 percent of all hospital admissions in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, among people on Medicare, heart failure is the most common reason for hospitalization (accounting for approximately 800,000 hospitalizations yearly). The average hospital stay for heart failure is about six days. Rehospitalization rates during the six months following discharge are as high as 50 percent.
The three main causes of hospitalization in patients with heart failure are fluid overload (55 percent), angina (chest pain) or heart attack (25 percent) and irregular heart rhythms (15 percent). Effective treatment for fluid overload is increasingly needed, not only to improve the prognosis of patients with heart failure but to improve their quality of life. Repeated hospitalizations bode poorly for a patient's prognosis and quality of life and also cause increased health care costs.
For more information about heart failure and related conditions, take a look at the links below.
- How Your Heart Works
- How Your Lungs Work
- How Your Kidneys Work
- How Blood Works
- How Ultrafiltration Works
- How Orthopnea Works
- How Jugular Venous Distension Works
- How Heart Failure Affects Quality of Life
- How Inotropic Drugs Work
- How Diuretics Work
- How Vasodilator Drugs Work
- How Electrolytes Work
- How Fluid Overload and Edema Work
- How Low-Sodium Diets Work
More Great Links
- Bart B, Boyle A, Bank AJ, et al. The RAPID Study: Ultrafiltration versus usual care for hospitalized patients with heart failure: the Relief for Acutely Fluid-Overloaded Patients With Decompensated Congestive Heart Failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:2043-2046.
- Bart BA, Boyle A, Bank AJ, et al. Ultrafiltration versus usual care for hospitalized patients with heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005; 46:2043-2046.
- Bourge RC, Tallaj JA. Ultrafiltration: a new approach toward mechanical diuresis in heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005; 46:2052-2053.
- Bundkirchen A, Schwinger RHG. Epidemiology and economic burden of chronic heart failure. Eur Heart J Suppl. 2004;6:D57-D60.
- Burns RB, McCarthy EP, Moskowitz MA, et al. Outcomes for older men and women with congestive heart failure. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1997;45:276-280.
- Cleland JG, Swedberg K, Follath F, et al. The EuroHeart Failure survey programme-- a survey on the quality of care among patients with heart failure in Europe. Part 1: patient characteristics and diagnosis. Eur Heart J. 2003;24:442-463.
- Costanzo MR, Guglin ME, Saltzberg MT, et al. The UNLOAD Study: Ultrafiltration versus intravenous diuretics for patients hospitalized for acute decompensated heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007; 49:675-683. www.unloadstudy.com
- Costanzo MR, Saltzberg M, O'Sullivan J, et al. Early ultrafiltration in patients with decompensated heart failure and diuretic resistance. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005; 46:2047-2051.
- Costanzo MR, Saltzberg M, O'Sullivan J, et al. The EUPHORIA Study: Early ultrafiltration in patients with decompensated heart failure and diuretic resistance. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:2047-2051.
- Elkayam U, Hatamizadeh P, Janmohamed M. The challenge of correcting volume overload in hospitalized patients with decompensated heart failure. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;49:684-686.
- Gure TR, Kabeto MU, Blaum CS, et al. Degree of disability and patterns of caregiving among older Americans with congestive heart failure. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23:70-76.