4 years ago

Multi-state modelling of heart failure care path: A population-based investigation from Italy

Andrea Di Lenarda, Francesca Gasperoni, Annamaria Iorio, Francesca Ieva, Gianfranco Sinagra, Arjuna Scagnetto, Giulia Barbati

by Francesca Gasperoni, Francesca Ieva, Giulia Barbati, Arjuna Scagnetto, Annamaria Iorio, Gianfranco Sinagra, Andrea Di Lenarda


How different risk profiles of heart failure (HF) patients can influence multiple readmissions and outpatient management is largely unknown. We propose the application of two multi-state models in real world setting to jointly evaluate the impact of different risk factors on multiple hospital admissions, Integrated Home Care (IHC) activations, Intermediate Care Unit (ICU) admissions and death.

Methods and findings

The first model (model 1) concerns only hospitalizations as possible events and aims at detecting the determinants of repeated hospitalizations. The second model (model 2) considers both hospitalizations and ICU/IHC events and aims at evaluating which profiles are associated with transitions in intermediate care with respect to repeated hospitalizations or death. Both are characterized by transition specific covariates, adjusting for risk factors. We identified 4,904 patients (4,129 de novo and 775 worsening heart failure, WHF) hospitalized for HF from 2009 to 2014. 2,714 (55%) patients died. Advanced age and higher morbidity load increased the rate of dying and of being rehospitalized (model 1), decreased the rate of being discharged from hospital (models 1 and 2) and increased the rate of inactivation of IHC (model 2). WHF was an important risk factor associated with hospital readmission.


Multi-state models enable a better identification of two patterns of HF patients. Once adjusted for age and comorbidity load, the WHF condition identifies patients who are more likely to be readmitted to hospital, but does not represent an increasing risk factor for activating ICU/IHC. This highlights different ways to manage specific patients’ patterns of care. These results provide useful healthcare support to patients’ management in real world context. Our study suggests that the epidemiology of the considered clinical characteristics is more nuanced than traditionally presented through a single event.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179176

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