Challenges for Patients Dying of Heart Failure and Cancer.

TitleChallenges for Patients Dying of Heart Failure and Cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsOrlovic, M, Mossialos, E, Orkaby, AR, Joseph, J, J Gaziano, M, Skarf, LM, Nohria, A, Warraich, HJ
JournalCirculation. Heart Failure
ISSN Number1941-3297
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Heart Failure, Hospice Care, Neoplasms, Palliative care, Terminal Care

BACKGROUND: Hospice and palliative care were originally implemented for patients dying of cancer, both of which continue to be underused in patients with heart failure (HF). The objective of this study was to understand the unique challenges faced by patients dying of HF compared with cancer.

METHODS: We assessed differences in demographics, health status, and financial burden between patients dying of HF and cancer from the Health and Retirement Study.

RESULTS: The analysis included 3203 individuals who died of cancer and 3555 individuals who died of HF between 1994 and 2014. Compared with patients dying of cancer, patients dying of HF were older (80 years versus 76 years), had poorer self-reported health, and had greater difficulty with all activities of daily living while receiving less informal help. Their death was far more likely to be considered unexpected (39% versus 70%) and they were much more likely to have died without warning or within 1 to 2 hours (20% versus 1%). They were more likely to die in a hospital or nursing home than at home or in hospice. Both groups faced similarly high total healthcare out-of-pockets costs ($9988 versus $9595, =0.6) though patients dying of HF had less wealth ($29 895 versus $39 008), thereby experiencing greater financial burden.

CONCLUSIONS: Compared with patients dying of cancer, those dying from HF are older, have greater difficulty with activities of daily living, are more likely to die suddenly, in a hospital or nursing home rather than home or hospice, and had worse financial burden.

Citation Key13003
PubMed ID36321448