The Role of Using HEART Score to Risk Stratify Chest Pain Among Emergency Department High Utilizers

Chet D. Schrader, Stefan H. Meyering, Darren Kumar, Naomi Alanis, James P. D’Etienne, Sajid Shaikh, Vietvuong Vo, Ankur R. Kamaria, Nicole Huettner, Hao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The HEART score is used to effectively risk stratify undifferentiated chest pain patients in the Emergency Department (ED). It is unclear whether such risk stratification can be applied among ED high utilizers. We aim to determine the efficacy and safety of using the HEART score to predict 30-day short-term major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in ED high utilizers. We conducted a retrospective, observational study in which ED high utilizers were defined as patients who had four or more ED visits within the past 12 months. ED high utilizers presenting at the study ED with chest pain were enrolled. Patients in which the HEART score was utilized were placed in the HEART group and patients with no HEART scores documented were placed to the usual care group. Hospital admissions and cardiac stress tests performed during the index hospitalizations, and 30-day MACE rates were analyzed and compared between the HEART and usual care groups. From January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2019, a total of 8,315 patient visits from ED high utilizers were enrolled. In the HEART group, 49% of ED visits were admitted with 20% receiving stress tests. A 30-day MACE outcome occurred among 1.4% of visits. In the usual care group, 44% of ED visits were admitted, with only 9% receiving index stress tests and a 1.5% of 30-day MACE occurrence (p=0.727). The study showed that similar short-term MACE outcomes occurred between patients using HEART scores and usual care to risk stratify chest pain among ED high utilizers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalHigh Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Prevention
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Chest pain
  • Emergency department
  • High utilizers
  • Usual care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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