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Telemedical Care and Monitoring for Patients with Chronic Heart Failure Has a Positive Effect on Survival

Background: Telemedical care and monitoring programs for patients with chronic heart failure have shown beneficial effects on survival in several small studies. The utility in routine care remains unclear.

Methods: We evaluated a large-sized telemedicine program in a routine care setting, enrolling in total 2,622 patients (54.7 percent male, mean age: 73.7 years) with chronic heart failure. We used reimbursement data from a large statutory health insurance and approached a matched control analysis. In a complex propensity score matching procedure, 3,719 suitable controls (54.2 percent male, mean age: 74.5 years) were matched to 1,943 intervention patients (54.1 percent male, mean age: 74.4 years). The primary endpoint of our analysis was survival after 1 year.

Results: Analyses revealed a higher survival probability among subjects of the intervention group compared to controls group after 1 year (adjusted OR: 1.47, CI 95 percent: 1.21–1.80, p < .001) and 2 years (adjusted OR: 1.51, CI 95 percent: 1.28–1.77, p < .001), respectively.

Conclusions: The probabilities to survive after 1 and 2 years were significantly increased in the intervention group. Our findings confirm previous results of controlled trials and importantly indicate that patients with chronic heart failure may benefit from telemonitoring programs in routine care.

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