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Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018 Mar;25(4):437-446. doi: 10.1177/2047487317749897. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Efficient selective screening for heart failure in elderly men and women from the community: A diagnostic individual participant data meta-analysis.

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1 Julius Centre for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
2 Department of Experimental Cardiology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
3 Amphia Academy, Amphia, Breda, The Netherlands.


Background Prevalence of undetected heart failure in older individuals is high in the community, with patients being at increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to the chronic and progressive nature of this complex syndrome. An essential, yet currently unavailable, strategy to pre-select candidates eligible for echocardiography to confirm or exclude heart failure would identify patients earlier, enable targeted interventions and prevent disease progression. The aim of this study was therefore to develop and validate such a model that can be implemented clinically. Methods and results Individual patient data from four primary care screening studies were analysed. From 1941 participants >60 years old, 462 were diagnosed with heart failure, according to criteria of the European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines. Prediction models were developed in each cohort followed by cross-validation, omitting each of the four cohorts in turn. The model consisted of five independent predictors; age, history of ischaemic heart disease, exercise-related shortness of breath, body mass index and a laterally displaced/broadened apex beat, with no significant interaction with sex. The c-statistic ranged from 0.70 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64-0.76) to 0.82 (95% CI 0.78-0.87) at cross-validation and the calibration was reasonable with Observed/Expected ratios ranging from 0.86 to 1.15. The clinical model improved with the addition of N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide with the c-statistic increasing from 0.76 (95% CI 0.70-0.81) to 0.89 (95% CI 0.86-0.92) at cross-validation. Conclusion Easily obtainable patient characteristics can select older men and women from the community who are candidates for echocardiography to confirm or refute heart failure.


NTproBNP; Prediction model; community; elderly; heart failure; high-risk

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