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Eur Heart J. 2005 Sep;26(18):1887-94. Epub 2005 Apr 28.

Unrecognized heart failure in elderly patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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  • 1Utrecht Heart Failure Organisation (UHFO), Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, PO Box 85060, Stratenum 6.101, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

AIMS:

To establish the prevalence of unrecognized heart failure in elderly patients with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in a stable phase of their disease.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

In a cross-sectional study, patients >/=65 years of age, classified as having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by their general practitioner and not known with a cardiologist-confirmed diagnosis of heart failure, were invited to our out-patient clinic. Four hundred and five participants underwent an extensive diagnostic work-up, including medical history and physical examination, followed by chest radiography, electrocardiography, echocardiography, and pulmonary function tests. As reference (i.e. 'gold') standard the consensus opinion of an expert panel was used. The panel based the diagnosis of heart failure on all available results from the diagnostic assessment, guided by the diagnostic principles of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for heart failure (i.e., symptoms and echocardiographic systolic and/or diastolic dysfunction). The diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was based on the diagnostic criteria of the Global Initiative (GOLD) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Of 405 participating patients with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 83 (20.5%, 95% CI 16.7-24.8) had previously unrecognized heart failure (42 patients systolic, 41 'isolated' diastolic, and none right-sided heart failure). In total, 244 (60.2%) patients had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease according to the GOLD criteria and 50 (20.5%, 95% CI 15.6-26.1) patients combined with unrecognized heart failure.

CONCLUSION:

Unrecognized heart failure is very common in elderly patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Closer co-operation among general practitioners, pulmonologists, and cardiologists is necessary to improve detection and adequate treatment of heart failure in this large patient population.

PMID:
15860516
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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