ACC: Hospitalizations Up for Heart Failure Patients in Winter

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ACC: Hospitalizations Up for Heart Failure Patients in Winter
ACC: Hospitalizations Up for Heart Failure Patients in Winter

THURSDAY, March 9, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Winter is a particularly precarious time for heart failure patients, according to two studies being presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, to be held from March 17 to 19 in Washington, D.C.

In the first study, researchers led by Emmanuel Akintoye, M.D., of the Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center, analyzed data from about 600,000 heart failure hospital admissions between 2011 and 2013. Patients admitted in the winter were 6 percent more likely to die than those admitted in spring, and 11 percent 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, M.D., of the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and her team 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," 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.

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