Objectives: To describe trends in hospital admissions and mortality from congestive heart failure in the elderly population aged 65 years and over in Singapore, 1991 to 1998.
Design: Analysis of trends and population subgroup differences in rates of hospital admission and mortality for a primary diagnosis of congestive heart failure, classified as ICD-9, codes 428, 402.0, 402.11, and 402.91.
Setting: The state of Singapore (multiethnic population of three million: Chinese 77%, Malay 14%, Indian 8%).
Results: Congestive heart failure accounted for 4.5% of all hospital admissions and 2.5% of overall mortality in this age group. Age adjusted hospital admission rates for congestive heart failure increased by 38% (from 85.4 per 10 000 in 1991 to 110.3 per 10 000 in 1998), while mortality decreased by 20% (from 7.3 per 10 000 in 1991 to 6.1 per 10 000 in 1998). The decline in mortality was greater in women than in men. There were no sex differences in the rates of hospital admission, but there were significant ethnic differences in admissions and mortality. Thus hospital admissions for congestive heart failure were about 35% higher in both Malays and Indians than in Chinese; and mortality was 3.5 times higher in Malays, but was about the same in Indians and Chinese. Over the period studied, mortality from congestive heart failure declined in both Chinese and Indians, but rose in Malays. The increases in hospital admissions were similar in both sexes and all ethnic groups.
Conclusions: An increasing rate of hospital admission accompanied by declining mortality from congestive heart failure is occurring in elderly people in this Asian multiethnic population. However, there are pronounced ethnic differences, with both Malays and Indians showing higher hospital admission rates than Chinese, and Malays showing a rising mortality as opposed to the falling mortality in the other ethnic groups.
- congestive heart failure
- ethnic differences
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