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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Sep 20;168(1):458-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.09.128. Epub 2012 Oct 13.

Long-term survival after hospitalization for acute heart failure--differences in prognosis of acutely decompensated chronic and new-onset acute heart failure.

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Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



To analyze the five-year mortality after hospitalization for acute heart failure (AHF) and compare predictors of prognosis in patients with and without a previous history of heart failure.


Patients with AHF (n=620) from the prospective multicenter FINN-AKVA study were classified as acutely decompensated chronic heart failure (ADCHF) or de-novo AHF if no previous history of heart failure was present. Both all-cause mortality during five years of follow-up and prognostic factors were determined.


The overall mortality was 60.3% (n=374) at five years. ADCHF was associated with significantly poorer outcome compared to de-novo AHF; five-year mortality rate 75.6% vs. 44.4% (p<0.001). Initially, mortality was high (33.5% in ADCHF and 21.7% in de-novo AHF after 12 months), but in de-novo AHF the annual mortality declined markedly already after the first year. Compared to de-novo AHF, patients with ADCHF had an increased risk of death for several years after the index hospitalization. A previous history of heart failure was an independent predictor of five-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 1.8 (95% CI 1.4-2.2; p<0.001). Older age and impaired renal function were associated with adverse long-term prognosis in both ADCHF and de-novo AHF, while higher systolic blood pressure on admission predicted better outcome.


The long-term prognosis after hospitalization for AHF is poor, with a significantly different survival observed in patients with de-novo AHF compared to ADCHF. A previous history of heart failure is an independent predictor of five-year mortality. Distinction between ADCHF and de-novo AHF may improve our understanding of patients with AHF.


95% CI; 95% confidence interval; ACEI/ARB; ACS; ADCHF; AHF; Acute heart failure; De-novo; HR; IQR; LVEF; Long-term prognosis; MDRD; Mortality; N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide; NT-proBNP; SD; acute coronary syndrome; acute heart failure; acutely decompensated chronic heart failure; angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker; eGFR; estimated glomerular filtration rate; hazard ratio; interquartile range; left ventricular ejection fraction; modified diet in renal disease; standard deviation

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