Researchers at SUNY Downstate identify rising incidence of valvular heart diseases in New York state

December 01, 2010

The incidence of hospitalization and treatment for heart valve diseases in New York State has constantly and progressively risen since the early 1980s, according to research presented at the recent meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) by SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The study results were published in a supplement to the AHA journal, Circulation.

The researchers said they expect these growth curves to continue as the population ages. Using data from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS), they identified 1,882,504 hospitalized patients who had diseases of at least one heart valve (mitral, aortic, tricuspid, or pulmonic) between 1983 and 2007.

During this period, hospitalizations in New York for all causes decreased from 3,032,235 cases (1983) to 2,628,545 cases (2007). In contrast, hospitalizations among patients with valvular diseases increased markedly at an average rate of 9.1 percent per year in the same period. The trend was similar for valve replacement or repair, which collectively grew 7.8 percent per year.

As a result of the increase in cases over the study period, inpatient deaths increased 6.7 percent per year. These deaths were associated with advancing age, non-elective admission, male gender, and presence of associated heart failure.

Phyllis Supino, EdD, professor of medicine and director of clinical epidemiology and clinical research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at SUNY Downstate and lead author of the study, said, "Our findings suggest that nationwide intensive planning is needed to deal with the public health implications of these increases to meet the growing needs of these patients."
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For more information, contact Dr. Supino at (718) 613-8355 or via phyllis.supino@downstate.edu. Jeffrey S. Borer, MD, chair of medicine and chief of cardiovascular medicine at SUNY Downstate, is co-author. Dr. Borer is also director of The Howard Gilman Institute for Heart Valve Diseases, located at SUNY Downstate. Amanda Goon, BA, a research assistant, is also a co-author.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient's bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

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