CAD hospitalizations decline, but HF admissions increase
September 16, 2009 |
Rockville, MD – Data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) show that hospitalizations for the treatment of coronary artery disease declined 31% between 1997 and 2007. As a result of the decline, the treatment of coronary atherosclerosis is no longer the leading disease treated in US hospitals, falling to the third most commonly treated behind pneumonia and heart failure.
The findings are from the AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the US. The report includes information on the discharge records for all patients treated in a sample of approximately 1000 hospitals.
From 1997 to 2007, the agency reports that hospitalizations for MI declined 15%, with treatment for MI now the tenth most commonly treated disease in US hospitals, down from fourth in 1997. Hospitalizations for stroke also declined 14% over the same 10-year period.
On the other hand, hospitalizations for arrhythmias increased 28% between 1997 and 2007. In 1997, 532 000 individuals were hospitalized for irregular heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation and tachycardia, compared with 731 000 in 2007. Hospitalizations for congestive heart failure increased 3%, rising to just more than one million hospitalizations in 2007. There were also increases in hospitalizations for nonspecific chest pain as well as for blood infections.
The rate at which cath lab (angioplasty, stenting) procedures were developing over the 1997 to 2007 period is strongly suggested as being behind the drop in hospitalizations. Angina and other symptomatic evidence of coronary artery disease became increasingly the target of proactive intervention via cath lab procedures, virtually preempting that caseload from hospitalization. The subsequent emergence of drug-eluting stents, moreover, has contributed to that trend (see Report #C245 on Worldwide Coronary Stents Market). By comparison, advances have been made over this time period for treatments for congestive heart failure, but not nearly at the torrid pace of coronary stents.