Socio-economic position, multimorbidity, and health care utilization among Danish left ventricular assist device patients

Inge Schjødt, Rikke E Mols, István Bakos, Erzsébet Horváth-Puhó, Finn Gustafsson, Søren L Kristensen, Johan E Larsson, Bo Christensen, Hans Eiskjaer, Brian B Løgstrup

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Abstract

AIMS: Increasing numbers of patients with advanced heart failure and significant comorbidity and social barriers are considered for left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). We sought to examine health care utilization post-LVAD implantation, including the influence of individual-level socio-economic position and multimorbidity.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We conducted a Danish nationwide cohort study linking individual-level data from clinical LVAD databases, the Scandiatransplant Database, and Danish national medical and administrative registries. Socio-economic position included cohabitation status, educational level, and employment status. Multimorbidity was defined as two or more chronic conditions from at least two chronic disease groups. Health care utilization (hospital activity, general practice activity, and redeemed medical prescriptions) within 2 years post-discharge after LVAD implantation was evaluated using descriptive statistics at 0.5 year intervals. We identified 119 patients discharged alive with first-time LVAD implanted between 2006 and 2018. The median age of the patients was 56.1 years, and 88.2% were male. Patients were followed until heart transplantation, LVAD explantation, death, 31 December 2018, or for 2 years. The median follow-up was 0.8 years. The highest median use of health care services was observed 0-0.5 years post-LVAD discharge compared with the subsequent follow-up intervals: 0.5-1, 1-1.5, and 1.5-2 years, respectively. The median (interquartile range) number of hospitalizations was 10 (7-14), bed days 14 (9-28), outpatient visits 8 (5-12), telephone contacts with a general practitioner 4 (2-8), and total redeemed medical prescriptions 26 (19-37) within 0-0.5 years post-LVAD discharge compared with the median utilization within the consecutive follow-up periods [e.g. within 0.5-1 year: hospitalizations 5 (3-8), bed days 8 (4-14), outpatient visits 5 (3-8), telephone contacts 2 (0-5), and redeemed medical prescriptions 24 (18-30)]. The median use of health care services was stable from 0.5 years onwards. The median number of hospitalizations and bed days was slightly higher in patients living alone with a low educational level or low employment status within 0-0.5 years post-LVAD implantation. Finally, the median number of in-hospital days and redeemed prescriptions was higher among patients with pre-existing multimorbidity.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients who underwent LVAD implantation, health care utilization was high in the early post-LVAD discharge phase and was influenced by socio-economic position. Multimorbidity influenced the number of in-hospital days and redeemed prescriptions during the 2 year follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
JournalESC heart failure
ISSN2055-5822
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Cohort study
  • Health care utilization
  • Heart failure
  • Left ventricular assist device
  • Multimorbidity
  • Socio-economic factors

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