Intensive care unit versus high-dependency care unit for patients with acute heart failure: a nationwide propensity score-matched cohort study

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Abstract

Background: A structure and staffing model similar to that in general intensive care unit (ICUs) is applied to cardiac intensive care unit (CICUs) for patients with acute heart failure. However, there is limited evidence on the structure and staffing model of CICUs. The present study aimed to assess whether critical care for patients with acute heart failure in the ICUs is associated with improved outcomes than care in the high-dependency care units (HDUs), the hospital units in which patient care levels and costs are between the levels found in the ICU and general ward. Methods: This nationwide, propensity score-matched, retrospective cohort study was performed using a national administrative inpatient database in Japan. We identified all patients who were hospitalized for acute heart failure and admitted to the ICU or HDU on the day of hospital admission from April 2014 to March 2019. Propensity score-matching analysis was performed to compare the in-hospital mortality between acute heart failure patients treated in the ICU and HDU on the day of hospital admission. Results: Of 202,866 eligible patients, 78,646 (39%) and 124,220 (61%) were admitted to the ICU and HDU, respectively, on the day of admission. After propensity score matching, there was no statistically significant difference in in-hospital mortality between patients who were admitted to the ICU and HDU on the day of admission (10.7% vs. 11.4%; difference, − 0.6%; 95% confidence interval, − 1.5% to 0.2%). In the subgroup analyses, there was a statistically significant difference in in-hospital mortality between the ICU and HDU groups among patients receiving noninvasive ventilation (9.4% vs. 10.5%; difference, − 1.0%; 95% confidence interval, − 1.9% to − 0.1%) and patients receiving intubation (32.5% vs. 40.6%; difference, − 8.0%; 95% confidence interval, − 14.5% to − 1.5%). There were no statistically significant differences in other subgroup analyses. Conclusions: Critical care in ICUs was not associated with lower in-hospital mortality than critical care in HDUs among patients with acute heart failure. However, critical care in ICUs was associated with lower in-hospital mortality than critical care in HDUs among patients receiving noninvasive ventilation and intubation.

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Ohbe, H., Matsui, H., & Yasunaga, H. (2021). Intensive care unit versus high-dependency care unit for patients with acute heart failure: a nationwide propensity score-matched cohort study. Journal of Intensive Care, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40560-021-00592-2

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