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Am Heart J. 2009 Jun;157(6):1042-9.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.03.021.

The impact of dyspnea on health-related quality of life in patients with coronary artery disease: results from the PREMIER registry.

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Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MO, USA.



Both angina and dyspnea are prevalent symptoms among post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients. Given their frequent overlap, little is known about the degree to which these symptoms provide independent information in this population.


Using the multicenter Prospective Registry Evaluating Myocardial Infarction: Events and Recovery (PREMIER), 1,835 patients were administered the Rose Dyspnea Scale (scores range 0-4; higher scores indicate worse dyspnea), Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ; lower scores indicate worse angina), and 12-item Short Form physical component (PCS; lower scores indicate worse physical health status) at 1 and 12 months post-MI. Multivariable regression was used to examine the association between dyspnea and quality of life (QOL) in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses as well as its association with rehospitalizations and mortality.


At 1-month follow-up, 863 patients (47%) reported dyspnea, and 340 (19%) noted moderate to severe dyspnea. After adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical factors including SAQ angina frequency, higher dyspnea scores remained strongly associated with worse QOL in both cross-sectional (1-U dyspnea increase = 2.5-point PCS decrease and 2.4-point SAQ QOL decrease) and longitudinal analyses (1-U dyspnea increase from 1 month to 1 year = 3.8-point PCS decrease and 3.5-point SAQ QOL decrease), and with increased risk of 1-year rehospitalization (hazard ratio 1.15/1 U of dyspnea, 95% CI 1.07-1.24) and 3-year mortality (hazard ratio 1.34/1 U of dyspnea, 95% CI 1.19-1.51; P < .001 for all analyses).


Among post-MI patients, dyspnea is common and strongly associated with impaired QOL, more frequent rehospitalization, and reduced survival--independent of both clinical factors and angina. These findings suggest that dyspnea is an important component of disease-specific health status for post-MI patients, and its assessment should be strongly considered in both research studies and clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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