Survival after initial hospitalisation for heart failure: a multilevel analysis of patients in Swedish acute care hospitals

Authors
Merlo J, Ostergren PO, Broms K, Bjorck-Linné A, Liedholm H.
Year
2001
Journal
J Epidemiol Community Health. , 55(5), 323-9
DOI
10.1136/jech.55.5.323
Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:
Although national variation in short-term prognosis (that is, 30 day mortality) after a patient's first hospitalisation for heart failure may depend on individual differences between patients, dissimilarities in hospital practices may also influence prognosis. This study, therefore, sought to disentangle patient determinants from institutional factors that might explain such variation.
DESIGN:
A multilevel logistic regression modelling was performed with patients (1st level) nested in hospitals (2nd level). Institutional effects (that is, 2nd level variance and intra-hospital correlation) were calculated unadjusted and adjusted for specific patient (that is, age and previous diseases) and institutional (that is, size of hospital) characteristics. Patients were followed up until death or 30 days from hospital admission.
SETTING:
Hospitals in Sweden.
PATIENTS:
The study identified all the 20420 men and 17923 women (ages 65 to 85) admitted to the 90 acute care hospitals in Sweden during the period 1992-1995 for their first hospitalisation attributable to heart failure.
MAIN RESULTS:
Patient age and previous diseases (particularly senile dementia) were major determinants of impaired prognosis. Institutional factors explained only 1.6% and 2.3% of the total variation in 30 day mortality in men and women, respectively. These modest institutional effects remained after adjusting for patient age and previous diseases, but were in part explained by hospital size.
CONCLUSIONS:
National variation in short-term prognosis after an initial hospitalisation for heart failure was mainly explained by differences between patients, with hospital factors playing a minor part. Of the latter, hospital size seemed to emerge as one determinant (that is, the greater the number of patients, the better the individual prognosis)

Number of levels
2
Model data structure
Response types
Multivariate response model?
No
Longitudinal data?
No
Substantive discipline
Paper submitted by
Juan Merlo, Faculty of Medicine (Social Epidemiology), Lund University, juan.merlo@med.lu.se
Edit this page