OBJECTIVES: To determine the risk of first unplanned all-cause readmission and mortality of patients ≥70 years with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or heart failure (HF) and to explore which effects of baseline risk factors vary over time.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed on hospital and mortality data (2008) from Statistics Netherlands including 5,175 (AMI) and 9,837 (HF) patients. We calculated cumulative weekly incidences for first unplanned all-cause readmission and mortality during 6 months post-discharge and explored patient characteristics associated with these events.
RESULTS: At 6 months, 20.4% and 9.9% (AMI) and 24.6% and 22.4% (HF) of patients had been readmitted or had died, respectively. The highest incidences were found in week 1. An increased risk for 14-day mortality after AMI was observed in patients who lived alone (hazard ratio (HR) 1.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-2.44) and within 30 and 42 days in patients with a Charlson Comorbidity Index ≥3. In HF patients, increased risks for readmissions within 7, 30 and 42 days were found for a Charlson Comorbidity Index ≥3 and within 42 days for patients with an admission in the previous 6 months (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.12-1.80). Non-native Dutch HF patients had an increased risk of 14-day mortality (HR 1.74, 95% CI 1.09-2.78).
CONCLUSION: The risk of unplanned readmission and mortality in older AMI and HF patients was highest in the 1st week post-discharge, and the effect of some risk factors changed over time. Transitional care interventions need to be provided as soon as possible to prevent early readmission and mortality.