The purpose of the study was to estimate the 8-year rate of hospitalization for congestive heart failure (CHF), to report the resources consumed, and to evaluate previously reported risk factors in a nationally representative sample of 7,286 older white and black adults.
Secondary analysis of baseline interview data was linked to Medicare hospitalization and death records for 1984 to 1991. Hospitalization for CHF was defined as having one or more episodes with an International Classification of Diseases (ninth revision, clinical modification) discharge code of 428. Combined and separate analyses of first-listed and second-through fifth-listed CHF discharge diagnoses were conducted. Multivariable proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the risks in pooled analyses of all white and black men and women and in separate stratified analyses of white men and white women.
Over the 8-year period, 1,102 or 15.1% of the 7,286 older white and black adults were hospitalized for CHF (7.1% with first-listed and 8.1% with second- through fifth-listed diagnoses). The 1- and 5-year combined postdischarge mortality rates were 34.7% and 69.0%, respectively. In descending order, the major risk factors for being hospitalized for CHF in the combined, pooled analysis were age, being a white man, having lower body functional limitations, and having self-reported medical histories of coronary heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, and angina. The increased risk associated with age was not linear, and it diminished significantly over the course of life. Some significant differences were observed in the risk factors for hospitalization for first-listed versus second- through fifth-listed CHF and in the risk factors for white women versus white men.
Hospitalization for CHF among older adults is a common, costly event with a poor prognosis. The differential risk for white men remains unexplained and warrants further study.