NYMC Faculty Publications

Title

Digoxin and 30-Day All-Cause Readmission in Long-Term Care Residents Hospitalized for Heart Failure

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2017

Department

Medicine

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Digoxin use has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of 30-day all-cause hospital readmissions in older patients with heart failure (HF). In the current study, we examined this association among long-term care (LTC) residents hospitalized for HF. METHODS: Of the 8049 Medicare beneficiaries discharged alive after hospitalization for HF from 106 Alabama hospitals, 545 (7%) were LTC residents, of which 227 (42%) received discharge prescriptions for digoxin. Propensity scores for digoxin use, estimated for each of the 545 patients, were used to assemble a matched cohort of 158 pairs of patients receiving and not receiving digoxin who were balanced on 29 baseline characteristics. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for outcomes associated with digoxin among matched patients were estimated using Cox regression models. RESULTS: Matched patients (n = 316) had a mean age of 83 years, 74% were women, and 18% African American. Thirty-day all-cause readmission occurred in 21% and 20% of patients receiving and not receiving digoxin, respectively (HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.63-1.66). Digoxin had no association with all-cause mortality (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.48-1.70), HF readmission (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.38-2.12), or a combined endpoint of all-cause readmission or all-cause mortality (HR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.65-1.45) at 30 days. These associations remained unchanged at 1 year postdischarge. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of an association between digoxin and 30-day all-cause readmission in older nursing home residents hospitalized for HF is intriguing and needs to be interpreted with caution given the small sample size.

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