Big drop in patients hospitalized for heart failure

October 18, 2011 2:28:25 PM PDT
There seems to be a big drop in the number of people being hospitalized for heart failure.

A study of 55 million patients shows hospital stays fell a remarkable 30 percent. It is the first such decline in the United States.

Researchers say it is evidence the nation is making headway in reducing the billion-dollar burden of this common condition.

But the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found only a slight decline in deaths within a year of leaving the hospital.

There was also less progress for African-American men.

Efforts to change the natural history of heart failure may be having an effect, but researchers say it is still a very problematic disease.