Most young people admitted to hospital with heart failure do return to work

2nd June 2016

The younger you are, the more likely you are to return to work after first being in hospital with heart failure, a new study has suggested.

The study from Denmark looked at almost 12,000 people under 60 who were in work when they were admitted to hospital.  People with cardiomyopathy can be affected by heart failure.

More than eight in ten of those aged 18 to 30 re-entered the workforce within a year, whereas only 64 per cent of the 51-60 age group did. Overall a quarter did not return to work in the first year.

The figures were reported at the  European Society of Cardiology Heart Failure Congress in Florence, Italy.

Lead author Dr Rasmus Rørth  from the Rigshospitalet-Copenhagen University Hospital, told heartwire that the research showed a lot about heart failure patients' quality of life and ability to get on with life.

"It would be nice if we could now find a way to get more back to work, for example with workday flexibility," he said."

The study looked at people with heart failure who were in hospital between 1997 and 2012. A year after leaving hospital more than 11,000 were alive. A total of 8,040 had gone back to their jobs, 2981 had not and 54 had emigrated

More of those who returned to work were men, and more had a higher education.

Dr Rørth said some of the findings weren't surprising because other health problems occur less in younger patients, and having a higher education often resulted in a job being less physically demanding.

"Returning to work is important financially, as a marker of functional status, and for self-esteem in patients with chronic illness," said the researchers in their poster presentation at the congress.

He added that inability to return work should perhaps be included as an additional quality measure in the care of heart failure," added Rørth.

He said plans to delve deeper into the data could include seeing if patients who returned to work were healthier and less likely to be depressed than those unable to return to work.

For more details, see here