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Am Heart J. 2006 Jun;151(6):1322.e1-4.

Life expectancy of elderly and very elderly patients with chronic heart failure.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, UK.



The survival of patients with chronic heart failure is typically reported as a comparison of different groups of patients using the hazard ratio from a Cox proportional hazards analysis. The absolute survival is generally neglected. Furthermore, attention is often focused on relatively young patients although chronic heart failure largely affects older patients. The present study was undertaken to determine the life expectancy (a measure of absolute survival) of older patients with chronic heart failure.


Patients >75 years with chronic heart failure caused by impaired left ventricular systolic function who attended an outpatient clinic were included in the study. Follow-up commenced on August 1, 1993, and continued until September 30, 2005, when vital status was ascertained. Mean survival time was calculated as a measure of life expectancy.


There were 210 patients included in the study. Male patients of mean age 80 years had a life expectancy of 3.9 years (95% CI 3.2-4.5), compared with that of 7 years for men in the general population of the same age. For female patients of mean age 80 years, the life expectancy was 4.5 years (95% CI 3.6-5.7), compared with 8.5 years for the general population of women of the same age.


The presence of chronic heart failure in older patients results in an approximately 50% reduction in life expectancy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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