The incidence of hospitalization and treatment for heart valve diseases in New York State has constantly and progressively risen since the early 1980s, according to research presented at the recent meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) by SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
The study results were published in a supplement to the AHA journal Circulation.
The researchers said they expect these growth curves to continue as the population ages. Using data from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS), they identified 1,882,504 hospitalized patients who had diseases of at least one heart valve (mitral, aortic, tricuspid, or pulmonic) between 1983 and 2007.
During this period, hospitalizations in New York for all causes decreased from 3,032,235 cases (1983) to 2,628,545 cases (2007). In contrast, hospitalizations among patients with valvular diseases increased markedly at an average rate of 9.1 percent per year in the same period. The trend was similar for valve replacement or repair, which collectively grew 7.8 percent per year.
As a result of the increase in cases over the study period, inpatient deaths increased 6.7 percent per year. These deaths were associated with advancing age, non-elective admission, male gender, and presence of associated heart failure.
Phyllis Supino, EdD, professor of medicine and director of clinical epidemiology and clinical research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at SUNY Downstate and lead author of the study, said, "Our findings suggest that nationwide intensive planning is needed to deal with the public health implications of these increases to meet the growing needs of these patients."
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