Aims: Contemporary long-term survival following a heart failure (HF) hospitalization is uncertain. We evaluated survival up to 10 years after a HF hospitalization using national data from Australia and New Zealand, identified predictors of survival, and estimated the attributable loss in life expectancy.
Methods and results: Patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of HF from 2008–2017 were identified and all-cause mortality assessed by linking with Death Registries. Flexible parametric survival models were used to estimate survival, predictors of survival and loss in life expectancy. A total of 283 048 patients with HF were included (mean age 78.2 ± 12.3 years, 50.8% male). Of these, 48.3% (48.1–48.5) were surviving by 3 years, 34.1% (33.9–34.3) by 5 years and 17.1% (16.8–17.4) by 10 years (median survival 2.8 years). Survival declined with age with 53.4% of patients aged 18–54 years and 6.2% aged ≥85 years alive by 10 years (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] for mortality 4.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.65–5.04 for ≥85 years vs. 18–54 years) and was worse in male patients (aHR 1.14, 95% CI 1.13–1.15). Prior HF (aHR 1.20, 95% CI 1.18–1.22), valvular and rheumatic heart disease (aHR 1.11, 95% CI 1.10–1.13) and vascular disease (aHR 1.07, 95% CI 1.04–1.09) were cardiovascular comorbidities most strongly associated with long-term death. Non-cardiovascular comorbidities and geriatric syndromes were common and associated with higher mortality. Compared with the general population, HF was associated with a loss of 7.3 years in life expectancy (or 56.6% of the expected life expectancy) and reached 20.5 years for those aged 18–54 years.
Conclusion: Less than one in five patients hospitalized for HF were surviving by 10 years with patients experiencing almost 60% loss in life expectancy compared with the general population, highlighting the considerable persisting societal burden of HF. Concerted multidisciplinary efforts are needed to improve post-hospitalization outcomes of HF.
- Heart failure