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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Mar 15;37(4):1042-8.

Predictive value of systolic and diastolic function for incident congestive heart failure in the elderly: the cardiovascular health study.

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Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worceter 01655, USA.



We sought to assess the ability of echocardiographic indices of systolic and diastolic function to predict incident congestive heart failure (CHF).


Noninvasive indices of subclinical systolic and/or diastolic dysfunction that can be used to identify patients in a transition phase between normal cardiac function and clinical CHF would be valuable. Though midwall shortening and Doppler mitral inflow patterns are seemingly well suited to predict subsequent CHF, the predictive value of these indices has not been investigated.


We studied 2,671 participants in the Cardiovascular Health Study who were free of coronary heart disease, CHF or atrial fibrillation. Clinical and quantitative echocardiographic data were obtained in all participants.


At a mean follow-up of 5.2 years (range 0 to 6 years), 170 participants (6.4% of the cohort) developed CHF. Although 96% of these participants had normal or borderline ejection fraction (EF) at baseline, only 57% had normal or borderline EF at the time of hospitalization. In multivariate modeling, fractional shortening at the endocardium (relative risk [RR] 1.85 per 10-unit decrease, confidence interval [CI] 1.27 to 2.39), fractional shortening at the midwall (RR 1.29 per five-unit decrease, 95% CI 1.11-1.51) and peak Doppler peak E (RR 1.15 for each 0.1 M/s increment; CI 1.02 to 1.21) independently predicted incident CHF. Both high and low Doppler E/A ratios were predictive of incident CHF.


Roughly half the occurrences of CHF in this population are associated with normal or borderline EF. Echocardiographic findings suggestive of subclinical contractile dysfunction and diastolic filling abnormalities are both predictive of subsequent CHF. The standard (FSendo) and refined (FSmw) parameters of systolic function performed similarly in this regard, though subjects with left ventricular hypertrophy and depressed FSmw are at particularly high risk for subsequent CHF.

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