Cardiovascular Events Among Survivors of Sepsis Hospitalization: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis

Jacob C. Jentzer, Patrick R. Lawler, Holly K. Van Houten, Xiaoxi Yao, Kianoush B. Kashani, Shannon M. Dunlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Sepsis is associated with an elevated risk of late cardiovascular events among hospital survivors. METHODS AND RESULTS: We included OptumLabs Data Warehouse patients from 2009 to 2019 who survived a medical/ nonsurgical hospitalization lasting at least 2 nights. The association between sepsis during hospitalization, based on explicit and implicit discharge International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9)/Tenth Revision (ICD-10) diagnosis codes, with subsequent death and rehospitalization was analyzed using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models. The study population included 2 258 464 survivors of nonsurgical hospitalization (5 396 051 total patient-years of follow-up). A total of 808 673 (35.8%) patients had a sepsis hospitalization, including implicit sepsis only in 448 644, explicit sepsis only in 124 841, and both in 235 188. Patients with sepsis during hospitalization had an elevated risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.27 [95% CI, 1.25–1.28]; P<0.001), all-cause rehospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.37–1.39]; P<0.001), and cardiovascular hospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.41–1.44]; P<0.001), especially heart failure hospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.51 [95% CI, 1.49–1.53]). Patients with implicit sepsis had higher risk than those with explicit sepsis. A sensitivity analysis using the first hospitalization yielded concordant results for cardiovascular hospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.78 [95% CI, 1.76–1.78]; P<0.001), as did a propensity-weighted analysis (adjusted HR, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.50–1.54]; P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Survivors of sepsis hospitalization are at elevated risk of early and late post-discharge death as well as cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular rehospitalization. This hazard spans the spectrum of cardiovascular events and may suggest that sepsis is an important cardiovascular risk factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere027813
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2023


  • heart failure
  • mortality
  • myocardial infarction
  • sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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