Narrator: This is Science Today. Heart failure affects five million Americans each year and annually about 3.6 million hospitalizations are attributed to the condition. Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at UCLA, says the risk of re-hospitalization of heart failure patients is higher than any other medical or surgical condition.
Fonarow: Some studies, including ours, show as many as one in five patients are re-hospitalized within thirty days and half the patients hospitalized with heart failure have one or more re-hospitalizations in the first six months.
Narrator: Fonarow has conducted one of the largest studies to date that looks into factors leading to hospital admission for heart failure and says many of these expensive re-hospitalizations are potentially preventable.
Fonarow: A good example is patients where their hospitalization was precipitated by not taking the medications as prescribed or not adhering to a low sodium diet. Those are addressable factors through better patient education.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.