Cleveland Clinic: Pediatric heart failure burden grows

Pediatric heart failure emergency department visits and primary heart failure hospitalizations rose dramatically between 2012 and 2016, according to a new study led by researchers at Cleveland Clinic. 

The findings, published May 9 in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, are based on analysis of data from national inpatient and ED databases, as well as mortality data from the national vital statistics system. 

Three key findings: 

1. Pediatric heart failure ED visits rose 82 percent from 2012 to 2016. Primary heart failure hospitalizations among children also rose 14 percent across the four-year period. 

2. Congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy and arrhythmias were responsible for the majority of ED visits and hospitalizations. 

3. Overall, the heart failure burden was lower among children compared to adults. Still, deaths were significantly more likely in children with heart failure than adults. 

"We know that approximately 6.2 million adults have heart failure in the U.S., but in that population there is a better understanding of the overall burden of the disease, its risk factors and associated mortality, which has helped create strategies to reduce hospitalizations, re-hospitalizations and ultimately decrease mortality," said Shahnawaz Amdani, MD, pediatric cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's and lead study author. "Such national efforts have yet to be taken in the pediatric population and it's our hope this data will encourage steps in that direction."

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