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Sociodemographic, Clinical and Patient-Reported Outcomes and Readmission After Heart Valve Surgery.

BACKGROUND: Readmissions after heart valve surgery represent a significant burden for both the patient and the healthcare system. The study aim was to identify independent predictors of readmission within 180 days after surgery in a population of patients undergoing heart valve surgery.

METHODS: Demographic and clinical information was obtained from national registers. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) including Short Form 12 (SF-12) and EuroQol 5D (EQ-5D) were measured at discharge as part of a national, cross-sectional study (DenHeart). Predictors of first readmission were investigated.

RESULTS: Among a total of 1,084 patients (65% men; mean age 68 years; 354 responded to questionnaires), 534 (49%) were readmitted. Responding patients who were readmitted were younger and a greater proportion had undergone mitral valve surgery. A significantly higher proportion of non-responders was readmitted. No significant differences were found in PROs between patients readmitted and those not readmitted, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves showed no predictive effect of SF-12 and EQ-5D. Survival analysis using Cox proportional hazard models showed that prior percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (HR 1.50, CI 1.10; 2.05, p = 0.010) and a history of heart failure (HR 1.37, CI 1.10; 1.72, p = 0.006) were predictive of readmission.

CONCLUSIONS: Readmission rates after heart valve surgery are high and often seen in patients who have undergone PCI and heart failure before surgery. Predictors for these high readmissions rates are difficult to establish based on medical history and type of surgery. PROs at discharge contribute information regarding a patient's perception of their often poor quality of life, but do not predict readmission.

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