Heart Failure in a Dedicated Outpatient Clinic: Results after 58 Month Follow-Up. Can it be Enough?
De Angelis, S.
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Incidence of chronic heart failure (HF) is rapidly increasing, approaching a 10 per 1000 rate after 65 years of age. In the last decades, despite pharmacological, interventional and supportive innovations, HF prognosis remained poor, with about 30% of death within one year from the diagnosis. Current guidelines recommend for these patients management programs providing follow-up through dedicated outpatient clinic. Limits of these programs are represented by great difficulties in getting patients adherence, being still too elevated the rate of abandonments. In this paper, we analyzed the impact of 58 months of activity in our dedicated to heart failure outpatient clinic on mortality, hospitalization and abandonment rate. 477 HF patients (346 M, 72.5%, mean age 69.6 years) were enrolled. Mean follow-up and visit were 18.2 and 2.6 months respectively. Total mortality rate was 11.5%, 4% of patients per year. Total hospitalizations for acute HF were 212 and, among all patients left in follow-up, the number of hospitalizations for acute de-compensation significantly decreased from 0.49/patient/year before enrollment to 0.29/patient/year during follow-up (p=0.015). Patients who abandoned outpatient clinic were 94 (19%, 1 abandonment every 23 days), mostly observed over the first months of activity. In conclusion, our patients experienced a major decrease in rates of acute de-compensation and need of inhospital admissions.