Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards, UK study finds

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Heart failure patients admitted to general wards are twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, shows a UK audit of the treatment of the condition.

Heart failure patients admitted to general wards are twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, shows a UK audit of the treatment of the condition, published online in the journal Heart.

Women fared worse than men when it comes to appropriate investigations and treatment, the findings suggest, although death rates were similar.

In 2006/7, heart failure accounted for more than a quarter of a million hospital deaths and discharges in England and Wales, equating to around 2.5 million bed days a year and at an annual cost to the NHS of 563 million.

The authors draw their conclusions from a survey of the first 10 patients admitted each month with a primary diagnosis of heart failure to 86 hospitals across England and Wales between April 2008 and March 2009.

During this period, just over 6,000 patients, with an average age of 78, were admitted with the condition. Almost half of these (43%) were women.

At admission, less than a third (30%) were reported to be breathless at rest and under half (43%) as having swollen feet/ankles. These are both diagnostic features of heart failure.

Appropriate investigations were not always carried out, the survey shows, with those admitted to general medical wards less likely to receive these than those admitted to cardiology wards.

Most patients (75%) were given a heart trace monitor test (echocardiogram). But only two thirds of those (65%) admitted to general medical wards were given this test.

This showed that the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), an indicator of the pump action of one of the two lower chambers of the heart, was 40% or less in most of those admitted.

But LVEF was not recorded in one in four patients. And those with an LVEF of under 40% or in whom LVEF was not recorded were more likely to be women, older, and managed on general medical wards.

Levels of natriuretic peptides, which are a much effective test for heart failure, and a much better barometer of likely outcome than LVEF, say the authors, were only measured in 1% of patients, despite National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence recommendations.

Half the patients were admitted to cardiology wards. Compared with those managed on general wards, they tended to be younger and were more likely to be men. Those admitted to general medical wards were twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, even after taking account of other risk factors.

While most patients, in whom discharge drug treatment was recorded, were given the appropriate medicines, only half were prescribed beta blockers. Men and younger patients were more likely to be given these drugs.

"Currently, hospital provision of care is suboptimal and the outcome of patents poor. The same rules that apply to suspected cancer should pertain to a disease with such a malign prognosis as heart failure," conclude the authors.

This means ready availability of natriuretic peptide testing, prompt referral to a specialist and appropriately trained staff to manage the condition during and after hospital admission, they say.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. G. F. Cleland, T. McDonagh, A. S. Rigby, A. Yassin, T. Whittaker, H. J. Dargie. The national heart failure audit for England and Wales 2008-2009. Heart, 2010; DOI: 10.1136/hrt.2010.209171

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards, UK study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117184439.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, January 18). Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards, UK study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117184439.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards, UK study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110117184439.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

Hundreds in Virginia Turn out for a Free Clinic to Manage Health

AFP (July 24, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th - prompting hundreds in Virginia to turn out for a free clinic run by “Remote Area Medical”. Duration 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins