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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of early, individualised and intensified follow-up after open heart valve surgery on unplanned cardiac hospital readmissions and all-cause mortality

Britt Borregaard, Jordi Sanchez Dahl, Lars Peter Schødt Riber, Ola Ekholm, Kirstine Lærum Sibilitz, Marc Weiss, Jan Sørensen, Selina Kikkenborg Berg, Jacob Eifer Møller
International Journal of Cardiology 2019 April 11
31006596

BACKGROUND: Unplanned readmissions after heart valve surgery are common, and constitute a significant burden for the patient and the health care system. The objective was to investigate the effect of individualised follow-up after open heart valve surgery on a composite endpoint of first unplanned cardiac hospital readmission or all-cause mortality within 180 days of discharge.

METHODS: The study is a prospective cohort study comparing the composite endpoint in patients undergoing early, individualised and intensified follow-up after heart valve surgery with a propensity matched historical control group. A total of 308 consecutive patients were enrolled in the prospective cohort study, 980 consecutive patients comprised the control group. The propensity matched group consisted of n = 300 (intervention) and n = 580 (controls). Time to first event was analysed using uni- and multivariable Cox proportional hazard analysis. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed to assess the probability of survival without readmission.

RESULTS: After 180 days, the proportion of patients experiencing the composite endpoint was significantly lower in the intervention group compared with the controls for the overall, unmatched population (23% vs. 38%; HR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.73; P < 0.001). The effect did not change in the propensity matched population (HR 0.57; 95% CI 0.43;0.75, P < 0.001). The difference was related to reduction in readmission rates, whereas death rates were similar in intervention and control group (1.6% vs. 1.8%).

CONCLUSION: An intervention consisting of early, individualised and intensified follow-up after open heart valve surgery reduced the risk of a composite endpoint of first, unplanned cardiac hospital readmission or all-cause mortality within 180 days.

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