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Association Between Serum Albumin and the Length of Hospital Stay Among Patients With Acute Heart Failure.

Introduction: Albumin plays a vital role in improving osmotic pressure and hemodynamics. A lower serum albumin level may cause pulmonary congestion and edema and contribute to myocardial dysfunction, diuresis resistance, and fluid retention in acute heart failure. Hypothesis: We hypothesized that AHF patients with normal serum albumin have shorter hospital stays. Methods: Using Electronic Medical Records, patients admitted from May 2020 through May 2021 aged >18, ICD-10, and positive Framingham Heart Failure Diagnostic Criteria were included. We excluded patients without albumin records and eGFRs less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 . Prolonged hospitalization was defined as >8 days of hospitalization. Results: During index emergency department visits, patients were symptomatic (New York Heart Association), aged median of 70 years (Interquartile range (IQR) 18), 59% ( n = 103) were male, predominantly White (73%, n = 128), and had a high Charleston Comorbidity index score [5, IQR (4-7)]. Nearly one-fourth (23%, n = 41) of the patients had <3.5 g/dL albumin levels. The median length of hospital stay was eight days (IQR of 11). Comparing differences between lengths of hospital stays (<8 vs. >8 days), there was different serum albumin (3.9 + 0.48 vs. 3.6 + 0.53, p < .001) and left ventricular ejection fraction (45% (range 26-63) versus 30% (range 24-48), p = .004). An increased serum albumin decreased prolonged hospitalization (odds ratio (OR), 0.28; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.14-0.55, p = <0.001). Patients in the lower albumin group had higher NT-proBNP (median: 8521 (range 2025-9134) versus 5147 (range 2966-14,795) pg/ml, p = .007) and delay in administering intravenous diuretics (391 (167-964) minutes versus 271 (range 157-533) minutes, p = .02). Conclusion: Hypoalbuminemia is strongly associated with prolonged hospitalization. Timely and effective diuretic therapy may reduce hospital stay durations, particularly with albumin supplementation.

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