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J Card Fail. 2009 Mar;15(2):130-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2008.10.006. Epub 2008 Dec 5.

Six minute walk test predicts long-term all-cause mortality and heart failure rehospitalization in African-American patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure.

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Division of Cardiology, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL, USA.



The prognostic value of the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) has been described in patients with heart failure (HF); however, limited data are available in an African-American (AA) population. We prospectively evaluated the usefulness of the 6MWT in predicting mortality and HF rehospitalization in AA patients with acute decompensated HF.


Two hundred AA patients (63.1% men, mean age 55.7 +/- 12.9 years) with acute decompensated HF were prospectively studied. Patients were followed to assess 40-month all-cause mortality and 18-month HF rehospitalization. The median distance walked on the 6MWT was 213 m. Of the 198 patients with available mortality data, 59 patients (29.8%) died. Of the 191 patients with available rehospitalization data, 114 (59.7%) were rehospitalized for worsening HF. For patients who walked <or=200 m during the 6MWT, mortality was 41% compared with 19% in patients who walked >200 m (P = .001). For patients who walked <or=200 m during the 6MWT, HF rehospitalization was 68% compared with 52% in those who walked >200 m (P = .027). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that 6MWT distance <or=200 m was the strongest predictor of mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.14; confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 3.81; P = .01) and HF rehospitalization (adjusted HR, 1.62; CI, 1.10 to 2.39; P = .015).


In AA patients hospitalized with acute decompensated HF, 6MWT strongly and independently predicts long-term all-cause mortality and HF rehospitalization.

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