The authors sought to determine the 30-day readmission rate of patients with esophageal variceal hemorrhage (EVH) and its impact on mortality, morbidity, and health care utilization.
EVH is a common complication of cirrhosis and leads to substantial morbidity and mortality.
The 2014 National Readmission Database was used to examine adult patients with urgent/emergent admissions and a principal diagnosis of EVH. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission. Secondary outcomes were in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate, most common reasons for readmission, readmission mortality rate, morbidity, and resource utilization. Independent risk factors for readmission were identified using multivariate regression analysis.
A total of 2003 patients with EVH were included. The mean age was 57 years and 29% of patients were female individuals. The all-cause 30-day readmission rate was 16.6%. EVH was the cause of readmission in only 5% of readmissions. Independent predictors of readmission were age and insurance type. The in-hospital and 30-day mortality rate for index admissions were 7.3% and 8.2%, respectively. For readmitted patients, the mortality rate was 3.9%. Although morbidity was lower during readmissions (prolonged mechanical ventilation: 0.4% vs. 3.5%, P<0.01 and shock: 1.8% vs. 9.9%, P<0.01), the cumulative additional length of stay was substantial at 2054 days with additional total hospitalization charges of US$20 million.
The all-cause 30-day readmission rate after EVH is 16.6%, with most patients being readmitted for diagnoses unrelated to EVH. Readmission was associated with a substantial increase in in-hospital mortality and resource utilization. Risk factors for readmission were identified, which can potentially be used to decrease readmission rates.