Longitudinal study of hospital readmissions for heart failure in Catalonia, 1996-1999

Josefina Caminal, Eduardo Hermosilla, Emilia Sánchez, Mireya Urrea, Pere Puig, Lluís Tomàs

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: This study is aimed at describing the readmission phenomenon for heart failure patients and identifying some of their related clinical factors by means of a follow-up study with administrative data. Methods: Longitudinal study of readmissions due to heart failure (HF) among a population ≥ age 65 in Catalonia throughout the 1996-1999 period. Information source: Minimum Basic Set of Data of Hospital Discharges from the Catalan Health Service. Definition of HF, etiological or precipitating cause, and comorbility by means of a ICD-9 discharge release codes combination. Analysis units «patient with HF» and an index population or cohort». Statistics: survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier and Log-rank test) and regression models (Cox). Results: The follow-up populations, comprised of 16,919 patients, generated 44,283 admissions (61.8%). The length of time free of readmissions (Mean "ME" in months) and the comparison of the survival curves is statistically significant with lower values in the following categories: 'age 65-74' (ME=21.6 months); 'male' (23.3); 'healthcare region 6' (16.3); 'reference hospital' (22.9) and 'pure COPD related to the HF' (17.7). The highest risk of readmission, adjusted by the other variables under study, has been found for 'pure COPD' [RR=1.03, (95% CI: 1.02-1.04), p<0.001], and ischaemic heart disease [RR=1.03, (95% CI: 1.01-1.05), p=0.003]. Conclusions: This study reveals the clinical complexity and patterns of utilization of hospitals on the part of patients with heart failure, identifying that those having COPD or ischaemic heart disease being top-priority groups for care intervention and thus revealing the potential which administrative data has for clinical planning and management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
JournalRevista Espanola de Salud Publica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2004


  • Heart failure
  • Hospital readmissions
  • Longitudinal studies


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