Population impact of heart failure and the most common forms of cancer: A study of 1 162 309 hospital cases in Sweden (1988 to 2004)

Simon Stewart, Inger Ekman, Tor Ekman, Anders Odén, Annika Rosengren

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Background: The contemporary impact of heart failure (HF) versus the most common forms of cancer as reflected by related first-ever hospitalizations and subsequent case-fatality rates is unknown. Methods and Results: Using a national registry in Sweden, we compared the rate of first-ever hospitalization and associated short-and long-term survival for HF, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and the most common forms of cancer on an age and sex-specific basis during 1988 to 2004 in 949 733 Swedish patients (1 162 309 hospital admissions in total). Annual incidence of first-ever hospitalization for HF, AMI, and cancer in Sweden were 484, 424, and 373 (lung, colorectal, prostate, and bladder cancer combined) per 100 000 men and 470, 280, and 350 (lung, colorectal, bladder, breast, and ovarian cancer combined) per 100 000 women age >20 years. The ratio of individual cases of HF to cancer was 1.37:1 (465 998 versus 340 738). Despite improvements in 30-day and 5-year survival (adjusted 7% and 6% increase per calendar year for men and women, respectively), HF was associated with unadjusted case-fatality rate of 59% within 5 years and 196 400 deaths versus 58% and 131 000 deaths in patients with cancer. During 10-year follow-up, HF was associated with 66 318 versus 55 364 premature life-years lost than all common forms of cancer in men. In women, the equivalent figures were 59 535 versus 64 533 premature life-years lost. Conclusions: These data confirm that, like most common forms of cancer combined, HF exerts a major health burden in respect to age-adjusted rates of first hospitalization, poor overall survival, and premature life-years lost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Heart failure
  • Malignancy
  • Population-based
  • Prognosis

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