Annals of Emergency Medicine

Effect of Barthel Index on the Risk of Thirty-Day Mortality in Patients With Acute Heart Failure Attending the Emergency Department: A Cohort Study of Nine Thousand Ninety-Eight Patients From the Epidemiology of Acute Heart Failure in Emergency Departments Registry

Xavier Rossello, MD, PhD, et al.

fjrossello@cnic.es 

Study objective

We assess the value of the Barthel Index (BI) in predicting 30-day mortality risk among patients with acute heart failure who are attending the emergency department (ED).

Methods

We selected 9,098 acute heart failure patients from the Acute Heart Failure in Emergency Departments registry who had BI score available both at baseline and the ED visit. Patients’ data were collected from 41 Spanish hospitals during four 1- to 2-month periods between 2009 and 2016. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression models were used to assess the association between 30-day mortality and BI score. cStatistics were used to estimate their prognostic value.

Results

The mean baseline BI score was 79.4 (SD 24.6) and the mean ED BI score was 65.3 (SD 29.1). Acute functional decline (≥5-point decrease between baseline BI and ED BI score) was observed in 5,771 patients (53.4%). Within 30 days of the ED visit, 905 patients (9.9%) died. There was a steep inverse gradient in 30-day mortality risk for baseline BI and ED BI score. For instance, compared with BI score=100, a BI score of 50 to 55 doubled the mortality risk both at baseline and the ED visit. At the ED visit, a BI score of 0 to 5 carried a 5-fold increase in risk after adjustment for other risk predictors. In comparison with baseline BI score, ED BI score consistently provided greater discrimination. Neither baseline BI score nor the change in BI score from baseline to the ED visit added further prognostic value to the ED BI score.

Conclusion

Functional status assessed by the BI score at the ED visit is a strong predictor of 30-day mortality in acute heart failure patients, with higher predictive value than baseline BI score and acute functional decline. Routine recording of BI score at the ED visit may help in decisionmaking and health care planning.

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