Sepsis risks linger for up to 12 years after hospital discharge: 3 study notes

After discharge, patients who had sepsis faced an elevated risk of rehospitalization for any cause, heart failure and death within 12 years, according to new findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. 

A team of researchers from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic used a national database of administrative claims to identify more than 800,000 patients who had sepsis during a hospital stay and survived between 2009 and 2019. They evaluated the association of sepsis hospitalization — either those who were hospitalized for it or developed it while hospitalized — and subsequent rehospitalization, death and cardiovascular effects during the follow-up period from 2009 to 2021. 

Three findings: 

1. Compared to patients without sepsis during hospitalization, those with the condition had a 38 percent higher risk of rehospitalization for all causes and a 43 percent higher risk of rehospitalization for cardiovascular causes within 12 years.

2. There was a 51 percent elevated risk of developing heart failure after discharge among patients who had sepsis while hospitalized, compared to those who did not. 

3. The risk of death after discharge was 27 percent higher among people who had sepsis while hospitalized. 

"Our findings indicate that after hospitalization with sepsis, close follow-up care is important, and it may be valuable to implement cardiovascular prevention therapies with close supervision," Jacob Jentzer, MD, lead study author and assistant professor of cardiovascular medicine at Mayo Clinic, said in a Feb. 1 news release. "Professionals need to be aware that people who previously had sepsis are at very high risk for cardiovascular events, and that it may be necessary to advise them to increase the intensity of their cardiovascular prevention."

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