- Introduction Several blood tests are performed uniformly in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure and are predictive of the outcomes: complete blood count, electrolytes, renal function, glucose, albumin and uric acid. We sought to evaluate the relationship between routine admission laboratory tests results, patient characteristics and 30-day and one-year mortality of patients admitted for decompensated heart failure and to construct a simple mortality prediction tool. Methods A retrospective population based study. Data from seven tertiary hospitals on all admissions with a principal diagnosis of heart failure during the years 2002–2005 throughout Israel were captured. Results 8,246 patients were included in the study cohort. Thirty day mortality rate was 8.5% (701 patients) and one-year mortality rate was 28.7% (2,365 patients). Addition of five routine laboratory tests results (albumin, sodium, blood urea, uric acid and WBC) to a set of clinical and demographic characteristics improved c-statistics from 0.76 to 0.81 for 30-days and from 0.72 to 0.76 for one-year mortality prediction (both p-values <0.0001). Three dichotomized abnormal laboratory results with highest odds ratio for one-year mortality (hypoalbuminaemia, hyponatremia and elevated blood urea) were used to construct a simple prediction score, capable of discriminating from 1.1% to 21.4% in 30-day and from 11.6% to 55.6% in one-year mortality rates between patients with a score of 0 (1,477 patients) vs. score of 3 (544 patients). Discussion A small set of abnormal routine laboratory results upon admission can risk-stratify and independently predict 30-day and one-year mortality in patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure.