Long-term trends of use of health service among heart failure patients.
Rao A., Kim D., Darzi A., Majeed A., Aylin P., Bottle A.
Aims: We aimed to identify subgroups in the patient population with different trajectories of long-term readmission rates. The study also aimed to assess common causes and their sequences of readmissions for each subgroup. Methods and results: Patients with a primary diagnosis of heart failure (HF) in the period 2008-09 were identified using nationally representative primary care data linked to national hospital data, which contain information on 10.5 million patients. Heart failure patients were followed up for 5 years. Group-based trajectory models and sequence analysis were applied. The model categorised the HF population (n = 9466) into five subgroups: low-impact (66.9%); two intermediate ones (27.4%); chronic high-impact (2.3%) with steady high annual readmission rates; and short-term high-impact (3.4%) with rapid decline in readmission rates. The groups were defined by their trends of yearly number of readmissions. The all-cause 5-year mortality was highest in the short-term high-impact group (n = 185, 72.8%), followed by Group 2 (intermediate users) (n = 744, 58.8%), low-impact (n = 4244, 56.9%), chronic high-impact (n = 88, 37.6%), and Group 1 (intermediate users) (n = 401, 30.3%) (P