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Objective The aim of this work was to understand the pattern and outcomes for heart failure (HF)–related hospitalization among Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients living in Central Australia. Methods and Results A retrospective analysis of administrative data for patients presenting with a primary or secondary diagnosis of HF to Central Australia's Alice Springs Hospital during 2008–2012 was performed. The population rate of admission and subsequent outcomes (including mortality and readmission) during the 5-year study period were examined. A total of 617 patients, aged 55.8 ± 17.5 years and 302 (49%) female constituted the study cohort. The 446 Indigenous patients (72%) were significantly younger (50.8 ± 15.9 vs 68.7 ± 14.9; P  <  .001) and clinically more complex compared with the non-Indigenous patients. Annual prevalence of any HF hospitalization was markedly higher in the Indigenous population (1.9%, 95% CI 1.7–2.1) compared with the non-Indigenous population (0.5%, 95% CI 0.4–0.6); the greatest difference being for women. Overall, non-Indigenous patients had poorer outcomes and were significantly more likely to die (P  <  .0001), but this was largely driven by age differences. Alternatively, Indigenous patients were significantly more likely to have a higher number of hospitalizations, although indigeneity was not a predictor for 30- or 365-day rehospitalization from the index admission. Conclusion The pattern of HF among Indigenous Australians in Central Australia is characterized by a younger population with more clinically complex cases and greater health care utilization.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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