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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Nov 20;40(10):1801-8.

Predicting death due to progressive heart failure in patients with mild-to-moderate chronic heart failure.

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Department of Cardiology, GKT School of Medicine, King's College London, Bessemer Road, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9PJ, United Kingdom.



The aim of this study was to explore the value of noninvasive predictors of death/mode of death in ambulant outpatients with chronic heart failure (HF).


Mortality in chronic HF remains high, with a significant number of patients dying of progressive disease. Identification of these patients is important.


We recruited 553 ambulant outpatients age 63 +/- 10 years with symptoms of chronic HF (New York Heart Association functional class, 2.3 +/- 0.5) and objective evidence of left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <45%, cardiothoracic ratio >0.55, or pulmonary edema on chest radiograph). After 2,365 patient-years of follow-up, 201 patients had died, with 76 events due to progressive HF.


Independent predictors of all-cause mortality assessed with the Cox proportional hazards model were as follows: a low standard deviation of all normal-to-normal RR intervals (SDNN); lower serum sodium and higher creatinine levels; higher cardiothoracic ratio; nonsustained ventricular tachycardia; higher left ventricular end-systolic diameter; left ventricular hypertrophy; and increasing age. Independent predictors of death specific to progressive HF were SDNN, serum sodium and creatinine levels. The hazard ratio of progressive HF death for a 10% decrease in SDNN was 1.06 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.12); for a 2 mmol/l decrease in serum sodium, 1.22 (95% CI, 1.08 to 1.38); and for a 10 micromol/l increase in serum creatinine, 1.14 (95% CI, 1.09 to 1.19) (all p < 0.01).


In ambulant outpatients with chronic HF, low serum sodium and SDNN and high serum creatinine identify patients at increased risk of death due to progressive HF.

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