Fierce Healthcare writes: Patients who can’t understand health information and are hospitalized for acute heart failure are more likely to die after discharge, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers reviewed the cases of 1,379 patients with acute heart failure who were discharged between November 2010 and June 2013. Among those patients, 324 (23.5 percent) had low health literacy and 403 (29.2 percent) died. With an average follow-up time of 21 months, patients with low health literacy (scoring below 10 on a scale from 3-15) were 34 percent more likely to have died than those with higher health literacy. The study noted that healthcare providers often overestimate the health literacy skills of their patients. As a result, patients with unrecognized low health literacy may receive complex healthcare instructions and prescription regimens that they can’t understand.
- Low health literacy linked to death of acute heart failure patients after hospitalizations, Fierce Healthcare
- Health Literacy and Mortality: A Cohort Study of Patients Hospitalized for Acute Heart Failure, Journal of the American Heart Association