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J Card Fail. 2009 Nov;15(9):763-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Improvement in health-related quality of life after hospitalization predicts event-free survival in patients with advanced heart failure.

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University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0232, USA.



Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is a major clinical outcome for heart failure (HF) patients. We aimed to determine the frequency, durability, and prognostic significance of improved HRQOL after hospitalization for decompensated HF.


We analyzed HRQOL, measured serially using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ), for 425 patients who survived to discharge in a multicenter randomized clinical trial of pulmonary artery catheter versus clinical assessment to guide therapy for patients with advanced HF. All patients enrolled had 1 or more prior HF hospitalizations or chronic high diuretic doses and 1 or more symptom and 1 sign of fluid overload at admission. Improvement, defined as a decrease of more than 5 points in MLHFQ total score, occurred in 68% of patients by 1 month and stabilized. The degree of 1-month improvement differed (P < .0001 group x time interaction) between 6-month survivors and non-survivors. In a Cox regression model, after adjustment for traditional risk factors for HF morbidity and mortality, improvement in HRQOL by 1 month compared to worsening at 1 month or no change predicted time to subsequent event-free survival (P=.013).


In patients hospitalized with severe HF decompensation, HRQOL is seriously impaired but improves substantially within 1 month for most patients and remains improved for 6 months. Patients for whom HRQOL does not improve by 1 month after hospital admission merit specific attention both to improve HRQOL and to address high risk for poor event-free survival.

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