WEDNESDAY, May 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — For patients admitted with heart failure, palliative care is associated with fewer readmissions and less mechanical ventilation, according to a study published online May 27 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Michelle S. Diop, M.D., from the Providence VA Medical Center in Rhode Island, and colleagues randomly selected veterans admitted to hospitals with heart failure from 2010 to 2015. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and usage variables were captured among 57,182 hospitalized patients. A total of 1,431 patients who received palliative care were matched to 1,431 patients who did not receive palliative care.

The researchers observed associations between palliative care and significantly fewer rehospitalizations (30.9 versus 40.3 percent), less mechanical ventilation (2.8 versus 5.4 percent), and less defibrillator implantation (2.1 versus 3.6 percent). Palliative care consultation was associated with a significantly reduced hazard of multiple readmissions and mechanical ventilation after adjustment for facility fixed effects (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.73 and 0.76, respectively).

“As heart failure progression is characterized by progressive functional decline, there is a growing understanding that concurrent palliative care can play an important role in attenuating the impact of heart failure, controlling symptoms, and providing continuity of care to meet the patients’ goals,” the authors write.

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