Sex-related factors play an important role in the pathophysiology of heart failure (HF). However, trends in sex-related differences in hospital management for HF are not clear. We identified patients hospitalized for HF through a nationwide database (National Health Insurance in Taiwan), containing 722,272 subjects from 1999 to 2008. Higher incidences of diabetes mellitus (37 vs. 25 %, p <0.001), thyroid dysfunction (2 vs. 0 %, p <0.001), and transient cerebral ischemia (2 vs. 1 %, p <0.05), as well as a lower incidence of chronic lung disease (14 vs. 22 %, p <0.001) differentiated female HF patients from male HF patients. During this 10-year period, both percentage of HF hospitalization and age-adjusted HF rates significantly increased for total HF sample (1.92 vs. 2.49 ‰, p <0.05, and 20.44 vs. 27.38/100,000, p <0.05) and for female (1.76 vs. 2.86 ‰, p <0.05, and 20.94 vs. 32.12/100,000, p <0.05), but such changes did not occur among male patients (2.12 vs. 2.09 ‰, p > 0.05, and 19.93 vs. 22.51/100,000, p > 0.05). The age at the time of hospitalization and the length of the hospital stay increased significantly for all HF patients during the 10-year study period. However, the daily cost of hospitalization increased in males, but not in females. Compared to the survivors, patients who died were older and had a longer hospitalization and higher daily cost both in males and females. Through our analysis of the NHI database, we observed trends in factors related to hospitalization of HF patients in Taiwan that may be attributable to sex-related differences in the pathophysiology and treatment strategies for HF.
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