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Am J Cardiol. 1999 Sep 1;84(5):563-7.

Comparison of frequencies of left ventricular systolic and diastolic heart failure in Chinese living in Hong Kong.

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Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories.


There is a wide variation (13% to 74%) in the reported prevalence of heart failure associated with normal left ventricular (LV) systolic function (diastolic heart failure). There is no published information on this condition in China. To ascertain the prevalence of diastolic heart failure in this community, 200 consecutive patients with the typical features of congestive heart failure were studied with standard 2-dimensional Doppler echocardiography. A LV ejection fraction (LVEF) >45% was considered normal. The results showed that 12.5% had significant valvular heart disease. Of the remaining 175 patients, 132 had a LVEF >45% (75%). Therefore, 66% of patients with a clinical diagnosis of heart failure had a normal LVEF. Heart failure with normal LV systolic function was more common than systolic heart failure in those >70 years old (65% vs 47%; p = 0.015). Most (57%) had an abnormal relaxation pattern in diastole and 14% had a restrictive filling pattern. In the systolic heart failure group, a restrictive filling pattern was more common (46%). There were no significant differences in the sex distribution, etiology, or prevalence of LV hypertrophy between these 2 heart failure groups. In conclusion, heart failure with a normal LVEF or diastolic heart failure is more common than systolic heart failure in Chinese patients with the symptoms of heart failure. This may be related to older age at presentation and the high prevalence of hypertension in this community.

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