Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UCLA Previously Published Works bannerUCLA

National Trends in Heart Failure Hospitalizations and Readmissions From 2010 to 2017



Previous studies have described the secular trends of overall heart failure (HF) hospitalizations, but the literature describing the national trends of unique index hospitalizations and readmission visits for the primary management of HF is lacking.


To examine contemporary overall and sex-specific trends of unique primary HF (grouped by number of visits for the same patient in a given year) and 30-day readmission visits in a large national US administrative database from 2010 to 2017.

Design, setting, and participants

This cohort study used data from all adult hospitalizations in the Nationwide Readmission Database from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2017, with a primary diagnosis of HF. Data analyses were conducted from March to November 2020.


Admission for a primary diagnosis of HF at discharge.

Main outcomes and measures

Unique and overall hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of HF and postdischarge readmissions. Unique primary HF hospitalizations were grouped by number of visits for the same patient in a given year.


There were 8 273 270 primary HF hospitalizations with a single primary HF admission present in 5 092 626 unique patients, and 1 269 109 had 2 or more HF hospitalizations. The mean age was 72.1 (95% CI, 72.0-72.3) years, and 48.9% (95% CI, 48.7-49.0) were women. The primary HF hospitalization rates per 1000 US adults declined from 4.4 in 2010 to 4.1 in 2013 and then increased from 4.2 in 2014 to 4.9 in 2017. The rates per 1000 US adults for postdischarge HF readmissions (1.0 in 2010 to 0.9 in 2014 to 1.1 in 2017) and all-cause 30-day readmissions (0.8 in 2010 to 0.7 in 2014 to 0.9 in 2017) had similar trends.

Conclusions and relevance

In this analysis of a nationally representative administrative data set, for primary HF admissions, crude rates of overall and unique patient hospitalizations declined from 2010 to 2014 followed by an increase from 2014 to 2017. Additionally, readmission visits after index HF hospitalizations followed a similar trend. Future studies are needed to verify these findings to improve policies for HF management.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View