QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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QUERI Citations

Krishnamurthi N, Francis J, Fihn SD, Meyer CS, Whooley MA. Leading causes of cardiovascular hospitalization in 8.45 million US veterans. PLoS ONE. 2018 Mar 22; 13(3):e0193996.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: We sought to determine the leading causes of cardiovascular (CV) hospitalization, and to describe and compare national rates of CV hospitalization by age, gender, race, ethnicity, region, and year, among U.S. veterans. METHODS: We evaluated the electronic health records of all veterans aged =18 years who had accessed any healthcare services at either a VA healthcare facility or a non-VA healthcare facility that was reimbursed by the VA, between January 1 2010 and December 31 2014. Among these 8,452,912 patients, we identified the 5 leading causes of CV hospitalization and compared rates of hospitalization by age, gender, race, ethnicity, region, year and type of VA healthcare user. RESULTS: The top 5 causes of CV hospitalization were: coronary atherosclerosis, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, stroke and atrial fibrillation. Overall, 297,373 (3.5%) veterans were hospitalized for one or more of these cardiovascular conditions. The percentage of veterans hospitalized for one or more of these CV conditions decreased over time, from 1.23% in 2010 to 1.18% in 2013, followed by a slight increase to 1.20% in 2014. There was significant variation in rates of CV hospitalization by gender, race, ethnicity, geographic region, and urban vs. rural zip code. In particular, older, male, Black, non-Hispanic, urban and Continental region veterans experienced the highest rates of CV hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Among 8.5 million patients enrolled in the VA healthcare system from 2010 to 2014, there was substantial variation in rates of CV hospitalization by age, gender, race, geographical distribution, year, and use of non-VA (vs. VA only) healthcare care facilities.