Hospital use and costs among patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy in the first prospective randomized amlodipine survival evaluation study.
The incidence of hospitalizations, lengths of stay, and per-diem costs were determined for 421 patients (amlodipine, 209; placebo, 212) with nonischemic cardiomyopathy in the first Prospective Randomized Amlodipine Survival Evaluation (PRAISE) study to assess the impact of amlodipine on hospital use and to compare the costs of hospitalization with the cost of amlodipine treatment. Treatment with amlodipine versus placebo significantly delayed the mean (+/- SD) time to first hospitalization (447 +/- 26 d vs 315 +/- 18 d, respectively; P = 0.0139). Both treatment groups showed a similar number of hospital admissions per patient per year. The overall hospital length of stay was 1.17 days less per year with amlodipine than with placebo, at a cost of $1098 less per person per year although these differences were not statistically significant. Significantly fewer amlodipine patients were admitted for unexplained cardiac arrest (odds ratio, 0.235; P = 0.002) and ventricular arrhythmias (odds ratio, 0.497; P = 0.004). These findings are consistent with clinical reports from PRAISE of prolonged survival and a reduction in sudden cardiac death among patients with severe heart failure due to nonischemic heart disease. This analysis suggests that in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy, treatment with amlodipine can delay the time to hospitalization and may reduce the number of hospital admissions related to ventricular arrhythmias. The estimated reduction in hospital costs of $1098 per year would more than offset the amlodipine treatment cost of approximately $700 per year.
O'Connor, CM; Radensky, PW; Unger, AN; Martin, BC
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