CDC: Heart-Failure–Related Mortality Rate Climbs After Decade-Long Decrease

Deborah Brauser

January 04, 2016

ATLANTA, GA — Although heart-failure–related deaths in the US had a steady decline for more than 10 years, the rate is increasing again, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)[1].

The report, which examined heart-failure trends between 2000 and 2014, showed that the age-adjusted rate for HF-related mortality was 105.4 per 100,000 population in 2000 and only 81.4 per 100,000 in 2012 (P<0.05). However, the rate then started a slow but steady climb, reaching 84.0 per 100,000 in 2014.

Not so surprising: men of all ages still had a higher death rate vs women in 2014, and black individuals had a higher rate than whites (91.5 vs 87.3 deaths per 100,000) and Hispanics (53.3 per 100,000).

The report also noted some good news: the percentage of in-hospital HF-related deaths declined from 42.6% in 2000 to 30% in 2014; and the percentage of HF deaths for adults over the age of 45 with CHD decreased from 34.9% to 23.9% during the same time period.

"The underlying cause of heart-failure–related deaths . . . was less likely to be CHD and more likely to be other cardiovascular diseases and noncardiovascular diseases (such as cancer, diabetes, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and kidney disease) in 2014 compared with 2000," note the investigators, led by Dr Hanyu Ni (CDC's National Center for Health Statistics [NCHS]).

"This shift in the distribution of the causes of death toward less ischemic heart disease . . . is important for heart-failure management approaches," they add.

The results were released last week in an NCHS data brief.

More Stats

For this report, the researchers examined data from "the multiple cause-of-death files" from the National Vital Statistics System.

Matching the overall findings, HF-related deaths decreased for all ages and for both sexes between 2000 and 2012 but increased afterward.

By far, the age group with the highest death rate in 2014 was those older than 84 years (men, 2842.8 deaths per 100,000; women, 2333.5 per 100,000). This was followed by those between the ages of 75 and 84 years (men, 720 per 100,000; women, 504.7 per 100,000).

From 2000 to 2012, blacks had a 20% decrease in the age-adjusted HF-related death rate and whites had a 22% decrease. The rate increased by 4% for each group between 2012 and 2014. On the other hand, the rate decreased steadily for Hispanic individuals—with a 27% decline between 2000 and 2014.

Along with the already-mentioned decrease in HF deaths occurring in hospitals, the percentage of deaths in a nursing home or long-term care facility also decreased (from 30.1% in 2000 to 26.7% in 2014). However, the percentage of deaths occurring in a residence increased from 18.3% to 27.6% and those occurring in outpatient clinics or hospice care increased from 9% to 15.7%.

Finally, "CHD was the underlying cause of death for 23.9% of heart-failure–related deaths of adults aged 45 and over in 2014. Other cardiovascular diseases accounted for 41.2% and noncardiovascular diseases for 34.9%," report the investigators.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.