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1.  Chronic kidney disease increases cardiovascular unfavourable outcomes in outpatients with heart failure 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:31.
Chronic heart failure (CHF) has a high morbidity and mortality. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has consistently been found to be an independent risk factor for unfavorable cardiovascular (CV) outcomes. Early intervention on CKD reduces the progression of CHF, hospitalizations and mortality, yet there are very few studies about CKD as a risk factor in the early stages of CHF. The aims of our study were to assess the prevalence and the prognostic importance of CKD in patients with systolic CHF stages B and C.
This is a prospective cohort study, dealing with prognostic markers for CV endpoints in patients with systolic CHF (ejection fraction ≤ 45%).
CKD was defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and CV endpoints as death or hospitalization due to CHF, in 12 months follow-up. Eighty three patients were studied, the mean age was 62.7 ± 12 years, and 56.6% were female. CKD was diagnosed in 49.4% of the patients, 33% of patients with CHF stage B and 67% in the stage C. Cardiovascular endpoints were observed in 26.5% of the patients. When the sample was stratified into stages B and C of CHF, the occurrence of CKD was associated with 100% and 64.7%, respectively, of unfavorable CV outcomes. After adjustments for all other prognostic factors at baseline, it was observed that the diagnosis of CKD increased in 3.6 times the possibility of CV outcomes (CI 95% 1.04-12.67, p = 0.04), whereas higher ejection fraction (R = 0.925, IC 95% 0.862-0.942, p = 0.03) and serum sodium (R = 0.807, IC 95% 0.862-0.992, p = 0.03) were protective.
In this cohort of patients with CHF stages B and C, CKD was prevalent and independently associated with increased risk of hospitalization and death secondary to cardiac decompensation, especially in asymptomatic patients.
PMCID: PMC2771010  PMID: 19843342
2.  Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: Prognostic Comparison from Peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 Slope 
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing with ventilatory expired gas analysis (CPET) has proven to be a valuable tool for assessing patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The maximal oxygen uptake (peak V02) is used in risk stratification of patients with CHF. The minute ventilation-carbon dioxide production relationship (VE/VCO2 slope) has recently demonstrated prognostic significance in patients with CHF.
Between January 2006 and December 2007 we performed CPET in 184 pts (146 M, 38 F, mean age 59.8 ± 12.9 years), with stable CHF (96 coronary artery disease, 88 dilated cardiomyopathy), in NYHA functional class II (n.107) - III (n.77), with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ≤ 45%,. The ability of peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 slope to predict cardiac related mortality and cardiac related hospitalization within 12 months after evaluation was examined.
Peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 slope were demonstrated with univariate Cox regression analysis both to be significant predictor of cardiac-related mortality and hospitalization (p < 0.0001, respectively). Non survivors had a lower peak VO2 (10.49 ± 1.70 ml/kg/min vs. 14.41 ± 3.02 ml/kg/min, p < 0.0001), and steeper Ve/VCO2 slope (41.80 ± 8.07 vs. 29.84 ± 6.47, p < 0.0001) than survivors. Multivariate survival analysis revealed that VE/VCO2 slope added additional value to VO2 peak as an independent prognostic factor (χ2: 56.48, relative risk: 1.08, 95% CI: 1.03 – 1.13, p = 0.001). The results from Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a 1-year cardiac-related mortality of 75% in patients with VE/VCO2 slope ≥ 35.6 and 25% in those with VE/VCO2 slope < 35.6 (log rank χ2: 67.03, p < 0.0001) and 66% in patients with peak VO2 ≤ 12.2 ml/kg/min and 34% in those with peak VO2 > 12.2 ml/kg/min (log rank χ2: 50.98, p < 0.0001). One-year cardiac-related hospitalization was 77% in patients with VE/VCO2 slope ≥ 32.5 and 23% in those with VE/VCO2 slope < 32.5 (log rank χ2: 133.80, p < 0.0001) and 63% in patients with peak VO2 ≤ 12.3 ml/kg/min and 37% in those with peak VO2 > 12.3 ml/kg/min (log rank χ2: 72.86, p < 0.0001). The VE/VCO2 slope was demonstrated with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to be equivalent to peak VO2 in predicting cardiac-related mortality (0.89 vs. 0.89). Although area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the VE/VCO2 slope was greater than peak VO2 in predicting cardiac-related hospitalization (0.88 vs 0.82), the difference was no statistically significant (p = 0.13).
These results add to the present body of knowledge supporting the use of CPET in CHF patients. The VE/VCO2 slope, as an index of ventilatory response to exercise, is an excellent prognostic parameter and improves the risk stratification of CHF patients. It is easier to obtain than parameters of maximal exercise capacity and is of equivalent prognostic importance than peak VO2.
PMCID: PMC2908890  PMID: 20657715
Congestive heart failure; exercise capacity; gas exchange; ventilation; prognosis.
3.  Effects of congestive heart failure on plasma von Willebrand factor and soluble P-selectin concentrations in patients with non-valvar atrial fibrillation 
Heart  2005;91(6):759-763.
Objective: To examine further the relations of plasma von Willebrand factor (vWf, an index of endothelial damage and dysfunction) and soluble P-selectin (sP-sel, an index of platelet activation) concentrations to the presence and onset of clinical congestive heart failure (CHF) and the degree of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in patients taking part in the SPAF (stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation) study.
Methods: Plasma concentrations of vWf and sP-sel were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 1321 participants in the SPAF III study and related to the presence and onset of clinical CHF, as well as echocardiographic findings. Of the 1321 patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), 331 (25%) had a documented history of clinical heart failure, of which 168 cases were related to a new or recurrent episode of acute decompensated heart failure occurring within the preceding three months.
Results: Mean plasma vWf was higher among patients with AF and CHF (154 (29) v 144 (31) IU/dl, p < 0.001), particularly those with acute or recent decompensated symptoms. Patients with severe LV dysfunction on two dimensional echocardiography and low fractional shortening also had significantly higher vWf concentrations than those with no LV dysfunction. CHF patients with clinical features—with (156 (28) IU/dl) and without (152 (31) IU/dl) LV dysfunction—also had higher mean vWf concentrations than patients with asymptomatic LV dysfunction (146 (31) IU/dl, p < 0.001). The presence of mitral regurgitation in CHF was associated with lower vWf concentrations. Plasma sP-sel concentrations were not affected by presence, onset, or severity of heart failure.
Conclusions: CHF may contribute to hypercoagulability and thrombotic risk in AF through increased endothelial damage and dysfunction. Patients with acute or recent decompensated features have the highest degree of endothelial damage and dysfunction. The presence of CHF clinical features was an important determinant of plasma vWf concentrations.
PMCID: PMC1768962  PMID: 15894770
von Willebrand factor; soluble P-selectin; stroke; heart failure; atrial fibrillation
4.  Factors related to time to admission to specialized multidisciplinary clinics in patients with congestive heart failure 
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology  2009;25(10):e347-e352.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common cause of hospitalization and has a poor prognosis. Specialized multidisciplinary clinics are effective in the management of CHF.
To measure time of admission to the specialized clinics and explore factors related to the time of admission to these clinics.
Patients who were newly admitted to one of six CHF multidisciplinary clinics in the province of Quebec were enrolled in the study. Data were collected from the common clinical database used at these clinics as well as from questionnaires administered to the patients.
A total of 531 patients with a mean age of 65.9 years were enrolled. Only 26% were women. The median duration of disease before admission to the CHF clinic was 1.2 years. The majority of patients (62%) were referred by a cardiologist or an internist, while 24% were referred by other specialists, and 14% by general practitioners. One-fifth of patients did not have regular follow-up for their CHF before being admitted to the clinic. Factors associated with shorter disease duration at admission to the clinic were referral by a specialist, not having regular medical follow-up for CHF, having a higher income and having visited the emergency room for CHF.
There may be a need to improve dissemination of information regarding availability and benefits of CHF clinics and criteria for referral.
PMCID: PMC2782508  PMID: 19812808
Congestive heart failure; Multidisciplinary heart failure clinics; Referral
5.  Self-perceived symptoms and care needs of patients with severe to very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure or chronic renal failure and its consequences for their closest relatives: the research protocol 
Recent research shows that the prevalence of patients with very severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic renal failure (CRF) continues to rise over the next years. Scientific studies concerning self-perceived symptoms and care needs in patients with severe to very severe COPD, CHF and CRF are scarce.
Consequently, it will be difficult to develop an optimal patient-centred palliative care program for patients with end-stage COPD, CHF or CRF. The present study has been designed to assess the symptoms, care needs, end-of-life care treatment preferences and communication needs of patients with severe to very severe COPD, CHF or CRF. Additionally, family distress and care giving burden of relatives of these patients will be assessed.
A cross-sectional comparative and prospective longitudinal study in patients with end-stage COPD, CHF or CRF has been designed. Patients will be recruited by their treating physician specialist. Patients and their closest relatives will be visited at baseline and every 4 months after baseline for a period of 12 months. The following outcomes will be assessed during home visits: self-perceived symptoms and care needs; daily physical functioning; general health status; end-of-life care treatment preferences; end-of-life care communication and care-giver burden of family caregivers. Additionally, end-of-life care communication and prognosis of survival will be assessed with the physician primarily responsible for the management of the chronic organ failure. Finally, if patients decease during the study period, the baseline preferences with regard to life-sustaining treatments will be compared with the real end-of-life care.
To date, the symptoms, care needs, caregiver burden, end-of-life care treatment preferences and communication needs of patients with very severe COPD, CHF or CRF remain unknown. The present study will increase the knowledge about the self-perceived symptoms, care-needs, caregiver burden, end-of-life care treatment preferences and communication needs from the views of patients, their loved ones and their treating physician. This knowledge is necessary to optimize palliative care for patients with COPD, CHF or CRF. Here, the design of the present study has been described. A preliminary analysis of the possible strengths, weaknesses and clinical consequences is outlined.
PMCID: PMC2391145  PMID: 18460203
6.  Changing trends in mortality and admissions to hospital for elderly patients with congestive heart failure in Montreal 
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common disease requiring admission to hospital among elderly people and is associated with a high mortality rate. The objective of this study was to examine trends in CHF mortality and admissions to hospital in Montreal between 1990 and 1997 for individuals aged 65 years or more.
We obtained information about deaths from the Quebec Death Certificate Registry database and information about admissions to hospital from the Québec Med-Écho database. Patients with a primary diagnosis that was classified as ICD-9 code 428 were considered cases of CHF.
Although age-adjusted rates of mortality from CHF did not change significantly between 1990 and 1997, the annual rate of admission to hospital for CHF increased from 92 per 10 000 population in 1990/91 to 124 per 10 000 population in 1997/98 (p < 0.01). Deaths due to CHF, expressed as a proportion of all cardiovascular deaths, increased among women from 5.6% in 1990 to 6.2% in 1997 (p = 0.01). The rate of readmission for all causes following a first admission for CHF during that year rose over the study period from 16.6% to 22.0% within one month (p < 0.001) and from 46.7% to 49.4% within 6 months (p = 0.03). Conversely, mean annual length of stay per admission decreased from 16.4 days in 1990/91 to 12.2 days in 1997/98.
The increase in rates of admission to hospital for CHF and the stable rates of CHF mortality suggest that the management of CHF and its antecedents has improved in recent years.
PMCID: PMC81537  PMID: 11699698
7.  Prognostic factors of mid-term clinical outcome in congestive heart failure patients discharged after acute decompensation 
Risk stratification in congestive heart failure (CHF) patients is based on a variety of clinical and laboratory variables. We analysed renal function, BNP, water composition, echocardiographic and functional determinations in predicting mid-term outcome in CHF patients discharged after decompensation.
Material and methods
All subjects with NYHA class II-IV were enrolled at hospital discharge. NYHA class, BNP, water body composition, non-invasive cardiac output and echocardiogram were analysed. Death, cardiac transplantation and hospital readmission for CHF were scheduled.
Two-hundred and thirty-seven (64.5% males, age 71.1±10.1) patients were discharged after obtaining normal hydration; left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 43.2±16.2%, cardiac output was 3.8±1.1 l/min and BNP at discharge resulted 401.3±501.7 pg/ml. During the 14-month follow-up 15 patients (6.3%) died, 1 (0.4%) underwent cardiac transplantation and 18 (7.6%) were readmitted for CHF (event group); in 203 (85.6%) no events were observed (no-event group). Higher NYHA class (2.1±0.7 vs. 1.9±0.4, p=0.01), BNP at discharge (750.2±527.3 pg/ml vs. 340.7±474.3 pg/ml, p=0.002) and impaired LVEF (33.7±15.7% vs. 44.5±15.8%, p=0.0001) and creatinine (1.7±0.6 vs. 1.2±0.8 mg/dl, p=0.004) were noticed in the event group. At multivariate Cox analysis LVEF (p=0.0009), plasma creatinine (p=0.006) and BNP at discharge (p=0.001) were associated with adverse mid-term outcome. Kaplan-Meier survival curves demonstrated that adding cut-off points for creatinine 1.5 mg/dl and discharged BNP of 250 pg/ml discriminated significantly prognosis (p=0.0001; log rank 21.09).
In predicting mid-term clinical prognosis in CHF patients discharged after acute decompensation, BNP at discharge ≥ 250 pg/ml added with plasma creatinine > 1.5 mg/dl are strong adverse predictors.
PMCID: PMC3400912  PMID: 22852001
congestive heart failure; prognosis; natriuretic peptide
8.  Serial pulmonary function tests to diagnose COPD in chronic heart failure 
It is unknown whether serial pulmonary function tests are necessary for the correct diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with stable non-congested chronic heart failure (CHF). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of COPD in outpatients with stable CHF without pulmonary congestion using initial as well as confirmatory spirometry three months after treatment for COPD.
Spirometry was performed in 187 outpatients with stable CHF without pulmonary congestion on chest radiograph who had a left ventricular ejection fraction < 40% (mean age 69 ± 10 years, 78% men). COPD was defined according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease guidelines. The diagnosis of COPD was confirmed three months after treatment with tiotropium in newly diagnosed COPD patients.
Using a three month follow-up spirometry to confirm initial diagnosis of de novo COPD did not change COPD prevalence significantly: 32.6% initially versus 32.1% after three months of follow-up. Only 1 of 25 (4%) patients with newly diagnosed COPD was not reproducibly obstructed at follow-up. COPD was greatly under- (19%) and overdiagnosed (32%).
Spirometry should be used under stable and euvolemic conditions to decrease the burden of undiagnosed or overdiagnosed COPD in patients with CHF. Under these conditions, a confirmatory spirometry is unnecessary, as it does not change a newly established diagnosis of COPD in the vast majority of patients with CHF.
Trial registration Identifier NCT01429376.
PMCID: PMC4177105  PMID: 25285269
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Chronic heart failure; Prevalence; Serial pulmonary function tests; Underdiagnosis; Overdiagnosis
9.  Heart rate variability and its relation to ventricular arrhythmias in congestive heart failure. 
British Heart Journal  1994;71(4):322-328.
BACKGROUND--It has been shown that heart rate variability is decreased in patients with congestive heart failure and that depressed heart rate variability is associated with a propensity to ventricular arrhythmias. Little is known, however, about heart rate variability in patients with both congestive heart failure and ventricular arrhythmias. METHODS--Spectral heart rate variability was analysed from 24 hour ambulatory electrocardiograms in 15 controls, 15 patients with non-sustained ventricular tachycardia associated with clinically normal hearts (NHVT group), and 40 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF group) secondary to either ischaemic heart disease (n = 15) or idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (n = 25). Of the 40 patients with congestive heart failure 15 had no appreciable ventricular arrhythmias (ventricular extrasystoles < 10 beats/h and no salvos) and formed the CHF-VA- group. Another 15 patients with congestive heart failure and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia formed the CHF-NSVT group. RESULTS--Heart rate variability was significantly lower in the CHF group than in controls (mean (SD) total frequency 23 (12) v 43 (13) ms; low frequency 12 (8) v 28 (9) ms; high frequency 8 (5) v 14 (7) ms; p < 0.001). The differences in heart rate variability between controls and the NHVT group, between ischaemic heart disease and dilated cardiomyopathy, and between the CHF-VA- and CHF-NSVT groups were not significant. In the CHF group heart rate variability was significantly related to left ventricular ejection fraction but not associated with ventricular arrhythmias. The frequency of ventricular extrasystoles was significantly related to the high frequency component of heart rate variability (r = 0.54, p < 0.05) in the NHVT group. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that in the CHF group, heart rate variability was predominantly related to left ventricular ejection fraction (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in heart rate variability between survivors (n = 34) and those who died suddenly (n = 6) at one year of follow up in the CHF group. CONCLUSION--In patients with congestive heart failure, heart rate variability is significantly decreased. The depressed heart rate variability is principally related to the degree of left ventricular impairment and is independent of aetiology and the presence of ventricular arrhythmias. The data suggest that analysis of heart rate variability does not help the identification of patients with congestive heart failure at increased risk of sudden death.
PMCID: PMC483680  PMID: 8198881
10.  Statins in the Treatment of Chronic Heart Failure: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(8):e333.
The efficacy of statin therapy in patients with established chronic heart failure (CHF) is a subject of much debate.
Methods and Findings
We conducted three systematic literature searches to assess the evidence supporting the prescription of statins in CHF. First, we investigated the participation of CHF patients in randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials designed to evaluate the efficacy of statins in reducing major cardiovascular events and mortality. Second, we assessed the association between serum cholesterol and outcome in CHF. Finally, we evaluated the ability of statin treatment to modify surrogate endpoint parameters in CHF.
Using validated search strategies, we systematically searched PubMed for our three queries. In addition, we searched the reference lists from eligible studies, used the “see related articles” feature for key publications in PubMed, consulted the Cochrane Library, and searched the ISI Web of Knowledge for papers citing key publications.
Search 1 resulted in the retrieval of 47 placebo-controlled clinical statin trials involving more than 100,000 patients. CHF patients had, however, been systematically excluded from these trials. Search 2 resulted in the retrieval of eight studies assessing the relationship between cholesterol levels and outcome in CHF patients. Lower serum cholesterol was consistently associated with increased mortality. Search 3 resulted in the retrieval of 18 studies on the efficacy of statin treatment in CHF. On the whole, these studies reported favorable outcomes for almost all surrogate endpoints.
Since CHF patients have been systematically excluded from randomized, controlled clinical cholesterol-lowering trials, the effect of statin therapy in these patients remains to be established. Currently, two large, randomized, placebo-controlled statin trials are under way to evaluate the efficacy of statin treatment in terms of reducing clinical endpoints in CHF patients in particular.
A systematic review found that patients with heart failure have been excluded from randomised controlled trials on the use of statins. Evidence from other studies on the effectiveness of statins for patients with heart failure is weak and conflicting.
Editors' Summary
When medical researchers test a drug—or some other treatment—for a particular medical condition, they often decide not to include in their study anyone who has, in addition to the disease they are interested in, certain other health problems. This is because including patients with two or more conditions can complicate the analysis of the results and make it hard to reach firm conclusions. However, excluding patients in this way can result in uncertainty as to whether treatments are effective for anyone who suffers from the disease in question, or just for people like those who took part in the research.
A great deal of research has been conducted with drugs known as statins, which lower cholesterol levels in the blood. (A raised level of cholesterol is known to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which causes heart attacks and strokes.) As a result of this research, statins have been accepted as effective and safe. They are now, in consequence, among the most commonly prescribed medicines. Heart failure, however, is not the same thing as a heart attack. It is the name given to the condition where the muscles of the heart have become weakened, most often as a result of aging, and the heart becomes gradually less efficient at pumping blood around the body. (Some people with heart failure live for many years, but 70% of those with the condition die within ten years.) It is common for people with cardiovascular disease also to have heart failure. Nevertheless, some researchers who have studied the effects of statins have made the decision not to include in their studies any patients with cardiovascular disease who, in addition, have heart failure.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers in this study were aware that patients with heart failure have often been excluded from statin trials. They felt it was important to assess the available evidence supporting the prescription of statins for such patients. Specifically, they wanted to find out the following: how often have patients with heart failure been included in statin trials, what evidence is available as to whether it is beneficial for patients with heart failure to have low cholesterol, and what evidence is there that prescribing statins helps these patients?
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
They did not do any new work involving patients. Instead, they did a very thorough search for all relevant studies of good quality that had already been published and they reviewed the results. “Randomized clinical trials” (RCTs) are the most reliable type of medical research. The researchers found there had been 47 such trials (involving over 100,000 patients) on the use of statins for treating cardiovascular disease, but all these trials had excluded heart failure patients. They found eight studies (which were not RCTs) looking at cholesterol levels and heart failure. These studies found, perhaps surprisingly, that death rates were higher in those patients with heart failure who had low cholesterol. However, they also found 18 studies (again not RCTs) on the use of statins in patients with heart failure. These 18 studies seemed to suggest that statins were of benefit to the patients who received them.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The evidence for or against prescribing statins for people with heart failure is limited, conflicting, and unclear. Further research involving RTCs is necessary. (Two such trials are known to be in progress.)
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
General information about statins is available from the Web site of Patient UK
The American Heart Association Web site is a good source of information about all types of heart disease, including heart attacks and heart failure
For a definition of randomized controlled trials see Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit
More detailed information about the quality of evidence from medical research may be found in the James Lind Library
PMCID: PMC1551909  PMID: 16933967
11.  Heart failure in patients with preserved and deteriorated left ventricular ejection fraction 
Heart  2005;91(4):489-494.
Objectives: To determine clinical and prognostic differences between preserved and deteriorated systolic function (defined as left ventricular (LV) ejection fractions ⩾ 50% and < 50%, respectively) in patients with heart failure satisfying modified Framingham criteria.
Patients and methods: Records were studied of 1252 patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) (mean (SD) age 69.4 (11.7) years; 485 women, 767 men) who had been admitted to a cardiology service for CHF in the period 1991–2002 and whose LV systolic function had been echocardiographically evaluated within two weeks of admission. Data were collected on the main clinical findings, supplementary examinations, treatment, and duration of hospitalisation. Whether the patient was alive in the spring of 2003 was evaluated by searching the general archives of the hospital and by telephone survey.
Results: LV systolic function was preserved in 39.8% of patients. Age, female to male sex ratio, and prevalence of atrial fibrillation, valve disease, and other non-ischaemic, non-dilated cardiopathies were all significantly greater in the group with preserved systolic function. New York Heart Association functional class IV, third heart sound, jugular vein congestion, cardiomegaly, radiological signs of lung oedema, pathological Q waves, left bundle branch block, sinus rhythm, ischaemic cardiopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy were all significantly more prevalent in the group with deteriorated systolic function, as was treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and most other antihypertensive drugs on discharge from hospital. There was no significant difference in survival between the groups with preserved and deteriorated systolic function (either survival regardless of age at admission or in subgroups aged < 75 and ⩾ 75 years at admission). In the whole group, survival rates after one, three, and five years were 84.0%, 66.7%, and 50.9%, respectively.
Conclusion: In view of the poor prognosis of patients with CHF with preserved LV systolic function, who are currently treated empirically, it is to be hoped that relevant controlled clinical trials under way will afford information allowing optimisation of their treatment.
PMCID: PMC1768853  PMID: 15772209
heart failure; prognosis; preserved systolic function; deteriorated systolic function
12.  Plasma Leptin Levels and Incidence of Heart Failure, Cardiovascular Disease, and Total Mortality in Elderly Individuals 
Diabetes Care  2008;32(4):612-616.
Obesity predisposes individuals to congestive heart failure (CHF) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Leptin regulates energy homeostasis, is elevated in obesity, and influences ventricular and vascular remodeling. We tested the hypothesis that leptin levels are associated with greater risk of CHF, CVD, and mortality in elderly individuals.
We evaluated 818 elderly (mean age 79 years, 62% women) Framingham Study participants attending a routine examination at which plasma leptin was assayed.
Leptin levels were higher in women and strongly correlated with BMI (P < 0.0001). On follow-up (mean 8.0 years), 129 (of 775 free of CHF) participants developed CHF, 187 (of 532 free of CVD) experienced a first CVD event, and 391 individuals died. In multivariable Cox regression models adjusting for established risk factors, log-leptin was positively associated with incidence of CHF and CVD (hazard ratio [HR] per SD increment 1.26 [95% CI 1.03–1.55] and 1.28 [1.09–1.50], respectively). Additional adjustment for BMI nullified the association with CHF (0.97 [0.75–1.24]) but only modestly attenuated the relation to CVD incidence (1.23 [1.00–1.51], P = 0.052). We observed a nonlinear, U-shaped relation between log-leptin and mortality (P = 0.005 for quadratic term) with greater risk of death evident at both low and high leptin levels.
In our moderate-sized community-based elderly sample, higher circulating leptin levels were associated with a greater risk of CHF and CVD, but leptin did not provide incremental prognostic information beyond BMI. Additional investigations are warranted to elucidate the U-shaped relation of leptin to mortality.
PMCID: PMC2660448  PMID: 19114611
13.  The Effect of Congestive Heart Failure on Sensor Accuracy Among Hospitalized Patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics  2013;15(10):817-824.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) features disturbances in the interstitial environment that may affect the accuracy of subcutaneous continuous glucose monitoring (CGM).
Subjects and Methods
A pooled analysis of two studies of hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes randomized to intravenous or subcutaneous insulin was conducted. One study enrolled patients with CHF exacerbation, whereas history of CHF was an exclusion criterion in the other. All patients wore a professional CGM device for at least 24 h. Intravenous insulin was administered according to the institution's nursing-run protocol (duration of 12 and 48 h in non-CHF and CHF protocols, respectively). Subcutaneous insulin was delivered similarly in both groups.
Subjects with CHF (n=43) had higher admission glucose and hemoglobin A1c compared with non-CHF subjects (n=32), but the sensor glucose values were similar. Overall mean absolute relative difference (MARD) was similar between CHF and non-CHF subjects (0.11 vs. 0.08, respectively; P=0.12). MARD was higher in the 100–149 mg/dL (P=0.003) and >199 mg/dL (P=0.02) strata among CHF subjects. Static glucose and continuous glucose error grid analyses favored the non-CHF group. In multivariable analyses, only glucose coefficient of variation and log sensor time were independent predictors of elevated overall MARD >0.10. After adjustment for other factors, only increasing log sensor time was a significant predictor of elevated MARD in the 100–149 mg/dL strata.
Among hospitalized subjects with type 2 diabetes, CHF exacerbation is not associated with lower sensor accuracy after adjustment for other factors, but this requires confirmation over a wider glucose range.
PMCID: PMC3781123  PMID: 24050738
14.  The Independent Impact of Congestive Heart Failure Status and Diuretic Use on Serum Uric Acid Among Men with a High Cardiovascular Risk Profile: A Prospective Longitudinal Study 
To evaluate the independent impact of congestive heart failure (CHF) status (compensation or decompensation) on serum uric acid levels among men with high cardiovascular risk profile.
We analyzed 11,681 men from the Multiple Risk Factor Interventional Trial, using data prospectively collected at baseline and annually over 6 years (64,644 visits). We evaluated the impact of change in CHF status during study follow-up, as compared with study baseline, on hyperuricemia (serum uric acid ≥7 mg/dL) and serum uric acid levels, using generalized estimating equations, adjusting for age, race, weight, weight change, education, alcohol intake, diuretic use, hypertension, serum creatinine level, and dietary factors. Similarly, we evaluated the independent impact of change in diuretic use (initiation or discontinuation).
At baseline, mean serum uric acid was 6.88 mg/dL. Compared with no change in CHF status, odds ratios of hyperuricemia were 1.67 (95% CI, 1.21 to 2.32) for CHF decompensation and 0.21 (95% CI, 0.08 to 0.55) for compensation. The corresponding uric acid differences were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.20 to 0.62) and −1.00 (95% CI, −1.72 to −0.27), respectively. The odds ratios for initiation and discontinuation of diuretic were 3.32 (95% CI, 3.06 to 3.61) and 0.39 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.44).
CHF decompensation and diuretic use are both independently associated with increased odds of hyperuricemia among men with a high cardiovascular risk profile, whereas CHF recovery and diuretic discontinuation are associated with substantially lower odds of hyperuricemia.
PMCID: PMC4228774  PMID: 21435695
congestive heart failure; diuretics; uric acid; hyperuricemia; gout
15.  BNP Predicts Chemotherapy-Related Cardiotoxicity and Death: Comparison with Gated Equilibrium Radionuclide Ventriculography 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96736.
Cardiotoxicity is a dose-limiting side-effect of cancer chemotherapeutics such as anthracyclines. The drug-induced cardiac toxicity is currently monitored with repeated assessments of the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) using multigated equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography (MUGA) or echocardiography. However, the plasma cardiac biomarker B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) has been suggested for early identification of cardiac dysfunction. The aim of the study was to compare LVEF obtained by MUGA and plasma BNP as predictors of developing congestive heart failure (CHF) or death in a population of anthracycline-treated cancer patients.
We prospectively followed 333 cancer patients referred to our department for routine monitoring of LVEF with MUGA and measurement of BNP, January-December 2004. Study end points were hospitalization for CHF and death during follow-up 2004-2010. Data were obtained from the Danish National Patient Registry.
During follow-up (mean 1,360 days), 21 of the patients were admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of CHF and 194 of the patients died. BNP levels were significantly higher and LVEF lower in the group of patients that developed CHF. Using cut-off points of BNP>100 pg/ml (HR 5.5; CI 1.8–17.2; p = 0.003) and LVEF <50% (HR 7.9; CI 3.0–21.4; p<0.001) both significantly predicted CHF. Using the same cut-off points only BNP (HR 1.9; CI 1.3-2.9; p = 0.002) and not LVEF (HR 1.1; CI 0.7–1.8; p = 0.58) was predictive of overall death. In multivariate Cox analysis both BNP and LVEF were independent predictors of CHF while age remained the only independent predictor of overall death.
In cancer patients treated with cardiotoxic chemotherapy both BNP and LVEF can significantly predict subsequent hospitalization with CHF. In addition, BNP and not LVEF has a prognostic value in detecting overall death. This prospective study based on the hitherto largest study population supports BNP as a clinical relevant method for monitoring chemotherapy-related cardiac failure and death.
PMCID: PMC4011788  PMID: 24800827
16.  Comorbidities as a driver of the excess costs of community-acquired pneumonia in U.S. commercially-insured working age adults 
Adults with certain comorbid conditions have a higher risk of pneumonia than the overall population. If treatment of pneumonia is more costly in certain predictable situations, this would affect the value proposition of populations for pneumonia prevention. We estimate the economic impact of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) for adults with asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) in a large U.S. commercially-insured working age population.
Data sources consisted of 2003 through 2007 Thomson Reuters MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters and Thomson Reuters Health Productivity and Management (HPM) databases. Pneumonia episodes and selected comorbidities were identified by ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. By propensity score matching, controls were identified for pneumonia patients. Excess direct medical costs and excess productivity cost were estimated by generalized linear models (GLM).
We identified 402,831 patients with CAP between 2003 through 2007, with 25,560, 32,677, 16,343, and 5,062 episodes occurring in patients with asthma, diabetes, COPD and CHF, respectively. Mean excess costs (and standard error, SE) of CAP were $14,429 (SE=44) overall. Mean excess costs by comorbidity subgroup were lowest for asthma ($13,307 (SE=123)), followed by diabetes ($21,395 (SE=171)) and COPD ($23,493 (SE=197)); mean excess costs were highest for patients with CHF ($34,436 (SE=549)). On average, indirect costs comprised 21% of total excess costs, ranging from 8% for CHF patients to 27% for COPD patients.
Compared to patients without asthma, diabetes, COPD, or CHF, the excess cost of CAP is nearly twice as high for patients with diabetes and COPD and nearly three times as high for patients with CHF. Indirect costs made up a significant but varying portion of excess CAP costs. Returns on prevention of pneumonia would therefore be higher in adults with these comorbidities.
PMCID: PMC3585380  PMID: 23113880
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP); Medical cost; Productivity cost; Economic evaluation; Asthma; Diabetes; Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
17.  Evaluation of a self-management programme for congestive heart failure patients: design of a randomised controlled trial 
Congestive heart failure (CHF) has a substantial impact on care utilisation and quality of life. It is crucial for patients to cope with CHF adequately, if they are to live an acceptable life. Self-management may play an important role in this regard. Previous studies have shown the effectiveness of the 'Chronic Disease Self-Management Program' (CDSMP), a group-based cognitive behavioural programme for patients with various chronic conditions. However, the programme's effectiveness has not yet been studied specifically among CHF patients. This paper presents the design of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effects of the CDSMP on psychosocial attributes, health behaviour, quality of life, and health care utilisation of CHF patients.
The programme is being evaluated in a two-group randomised controlled trial. Patients were eligible if they had been diagnosed with CHF and experienced slight to marked limitation of physical activity. They were selected from the Heart Failure and/or Cardiology Outpatient Clinics of six hospitals. Eligible patients underwent a baseline assessment and were subsequently allocated to the intervention or control group. Patients allocated to the intervention group were invited to attend the self-management programme consisting of six weekly sessions, led by a CHF nurse specialist and a CHF patient. Those allocated to the control group received care as usual. Follow-up measurements are being carried out immediately after the intervention period, and six and twelve months after the start of the intervention.
An effect evaluation and a process evaluation are being conducted. The primary outcomes of the effect evaluation are self-efficacy expectancies, perceived control, and cognitive symptom management. The secondary outcome measures are smoking and drinking behaviour, Body Mass Index (BMI), physical activity level, self-care behaviour, health-related quality of life, perceived autonomy, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and health care utilisation. The programme's feasibility is assessed by measuring compliance with the protocol, patients' attendance and adherence, and the opinions about the programme.
A total number of 318 patients were included in the trial. At present, follow-up data are being collected. The results of the trial become clear after completion of the data collection in January 2007.
Trial Registration
Trialregister () ISRCTN88363287.
PMCID: PMC1569834  PMID: 16857049
18.  Serum erythropoietin level predicts the prognosis of chronic heart failure with or without anemia 
The aim of this study was to explore the correlation of erythropoietin (EPO) with N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) or CHF complicated with anemia, in addition to its correlation with the prognosis of the patient. A total of 217 CHF patients were enrolled in this study. The patients were graded according to the cardiac function criteria of the New York Heart Association (NYHA). The serum EPO, NT-proBNP and hs-CRP levels of the patients were determined. The patients were followed up for ≥24 months. The EPO expression level in patients with NYHA II–IV CHF was significantly higher compared with that in the control group (P<0.05). EPO expression increased with the aggravation of CHF, exhibiting significant differences amongst the various NYHA graded groups (P<0.05). The EPO expression level increased significantly with an increase in NHA grade in addition to the severity of the anemia in the patients with CHF complicated by anemia (P<0.05). In the patients who succumbed (mortality group), the expression level of EPO was significantly higher and the hemoglobin level was significantly lower compared with those of the survival group (P<0.05). The EPO expression levels were elevated in CHF patients and patients with CHF and anemia. The level of expression correlated positively with the severity of CHF as well as that of anemia. Serum EPO measurements were successful in predicting the mortality and re-hospitalization rates of CHF patients at the end point, within two years of follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3820832  PMID: 24223667
heart failure; erythropoietin; N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; high sensitivity C-reactive protein; prognosis
19.  Effect of Resistance Training on Physical Disability in Chronic Heart Failure 
Patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) report difficulty performing activities of daily living. To our knowledge, however, no study has directly measured performance in activities of daily living in these patients to systematically assess their level of physical disability. Moreover, the contribution of skeletal muscle weakness to physical disability in CHF remains unclear. Thus, we measured performance in activities of daily living in CHF patients and controls, its relationship to aerobic capacity and muscle strength and the effect of resistance exercise training to improve muscle strength and physical disability.
Patients and controls were assessed for performance in activities of daily living, self-reported physical function, peak aerobic capacity, body composition and muscle strength before and after an 18-wk resistance training program. To remove the confounding effects of several disease-related factors (muscle disuse, hospitalization, acute illness), we recruited controls with similar activity levels as CHF patients and tested patients >6 months following any disease exacerbation/hospitalization.
Performance in activities of daily living was 30% lower (P<0.05) in CHF patients versus controls and was related to both reduced aerobic capacity (P<0.001) and muscle strength (P<0.01). Moreover, resistance training improved (P<0.05 to <0.001) physical function and muscle strength in patients and controls similarly, without altering aerobic capacity.
CHF patients are characterized by marked physical disability compared to age- and physical activity-matched controls, which is related to reduced aerobic capacity and muscle strength. CHF patients respond to resistance training with normal strength/functional adaptations. Our results support muscle weakness as a determinant of physical disability in CHF and show that interventions that increase muscle strength (resistance training) reduce physical disability.
PMCID: PMC3410739  PMID: 21233772
cachexia; sarcopenia; skeletal muscle; quality of life
20.  Can Peak Expiratory Flow Measurements Differentiate Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease from Congestive Heart Failure? 
Dyspneic patients are commonly encountered by Emergency Medical Service (EMS). Frequent causes include Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Measurement of peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) has been proposed to help differentiate COPD from CHF. This prospective, cohort, pilot study was conducted to determine if PEFR in patients with an exacerbation of COPD were significantly different than CHF. Included were patients presenting with dyspnea plus a history of COPD and/or CHF. A PEFR was measured, values were compared to predicted average, and a percentage was calculated. Twenty-one patients were enrolled. Six had a diagnosis of COPD, 12 CHF; 3 had other diagnoses. Mean percentage of predicted PEFR with COPD was 26.36%, CHF 48.9% (P = 0.04). Patients presenting with acute COPD had significantly lower percentage of predicted PEFR than those with CHF. These results suggest that PEFR may be useful in differentiating COPD from CHF. This study should be expanded to the prehospital setting with a larger number of subjects.
PMCID: PMC3205738  PMID: 22114739
21.  Quality of congestive heart failure care 
Canadian Family Physician  2010;56(12):e432-e437.
To study the feasibility of using electronic medical record (EMR) data from the Deliver Primary Healthcare Information (DELPHI) database to measure quality of care for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) in primary care and to determine the percentage of patients with CHF receiving the recommended care.
Items listed on the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Heart Failure Patient Care Flow Sheet (CHF flow sheet) were assessed and measured using EMRs of patients diagnosed with CHF between October 1, 2005, and September 30, 2008.
Ten primary health care practices in southwestern Ontario.
Four hundred eighty-eight patients who were considered to have CHF because at least 1 of the following was indicated in their EMRs: an International Classification of Diseases billing code for CHF (category 428), an International Classification of Primary Care diagnosis code for heart failure (ie, K77), or “CHF” reported on the problem list.
Number of CHF flow sheet items that were measurable using EMR data from the DELPHI database. Percentage of patients with CHF receiving required quality-of-care items since the date of diagnosis.
The DELPHI database contained information on 60 (65.9%) of the 91 items identified using the CHF flow sheet. The recommended tests and procedures were recorded infrequently: 55.5% of patients with CHF had chest radiographs; 32.6% had electrocardiograms; 32.2% had echocardiograms; 30.5% were prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; 20.9% were prescribed β-blockers; and 15.8% were prescribed angiotensin II receptor blockers.
Low frequencies of recommended care items for patients with CHF were recorded in the EMR. Physicians explained that CHF care was documented in areas of the EMR that contained patient identifiers, such as the encounter notes, and was therefore not part of the DELPHI database. Extractable information from the EMR does not provide a complete picture of the quality of care provided to patients with CHF.
PMCID: PMC3001951  PMID: 21156884
22.  Increased Rho kinase activity in congestive heart failure 
European Journal of Heart Failure  2012;14(9):965-973.
Rho kinases (ROCKs) are the best characterized effectors of the small G-protein RhoA, and play a role in enhanced vasoconstriction in animal models of congestive heart failure (CHF). This study examined if ROCK activity is increased in CHF and how it is associated with the outcome in CHF.
Methods and results
Patients admitted with CHF (n =178), disease controls (n =31), and normal subjects (n =30) were studied. Baseline ROCK activity was measured by phosphorylation of themyosin-binding subunit in peripheral leucocytes. The patients were followed up for 14.4 ± 7.2 months (range 0.5–26 months) or until the occurrence of cardiac death. The ROCK activity in CHF patients (2.93 ± 0.87) was significantly higher than that of the disease control (2.06 ± 0.38, P < 0.001) and normal control (1.57 ± 0.43, P < 0.001) groups. Similarly, protein levels of ROCK1 and ROCK2 as well as the activity of RhoA in CHF were significantly higher than in disease controls and normal controls (all P < 0.05). Dyspnoea at rest (β =0.338, P < 0.001), low left ventricular ejection fraction (β = –0.277, P < 0.001), and high creatinine (β =0.202, P =0.006) were independent predictors of the baseline ROCK activity in CHF. Forty-five patients died within 2 years follow-up (25.3%). Combining ROCK activity and N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) had an incremental value (log rank χ2 =11.62) in predicting long-term mortality when compared with only NT-proBNP (log rank χ2 =5.16, P < 0.05).
ROCK activity is increased in CHF and it might be associated with the mortality in CHF. ROCK activity might be a complementary biomarker to CHF risk stratification.
PMCID: PMC3707433  PMID: 22588320
Rho kinases; Congestive heart failure; Mortality
23.  Ivabradine Treatment in a Chronic Heart Failure Patient Cohort: Symptom Reduction and Improvement in Quality of Life in Clinical Practice 
Advances in Therapy  2014;31(9):961-974.
In the prospective, open-label multicenter INTENSIFY study, the effectiveness and tolerability of ivabradine as well as its impact on quality of life (QOL) in chronic systolic heart failure (CHF) patients were evaluated over a 4-month period.
In CHF patients with an indication for treatment with ivabradine, resting heart rate (HR), heart failure symptoms [New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, signs of decompensation], left ventricular ejection fraction, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) values, QOL, and concomitant medication with focus on beta-blocker therapy were documented at baseline, after 4 weeks, and after 4 months. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistical methods.
Thousand nine hundred and fifty-six patients with CHF were included. Their mean age was 67 ± 11.7 years and 56.9% were male. 77.8% were receiving beta-blockers. Other concomitant medications included angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (83%), diuretics (61%), aldosterone antagonists (18%), and cardiac glycosides (8%). At baseline, the mean HR of patients was 85 ± 11.8 bpm, 51.1% and 37.2% of patients were classified as NYHA II and III, respectively, and 22.7% showed signs of decompensation. BNP concentrations were tracked in a subgroup, and values exceeding 400 pg/mL were noted in 53.9% of patients. The mean value of the European quality of life-5 dimensions (EQ-5D) QOL index was 0.64 ± 0.28. After 4 months of treatment with ivabradine, HR was reduced to 67 ± 8.9 bpm. Furthermore, the proportion of patients presenting with signs of decompensation decreased to 5.4% and the proportion of patients with BNP levels >400 pg/mL dropped to 26.7%, accompanied by a shift in NYHA classification towards lower grading (24.0% and 60.5% in NYHA I and II, respectively). EQ-5D index improved to 0.79 ± 0.21.
Over 4 months of treatment, ivabradine effectively reduced HR and symptoms in CHF patients in this study reflecting daily clinical practice. These benefits were accompanied by improved QOL and good general tolerability.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12325-014-0147-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4177104  PMID: 25160945
Cardiology; Chronic heart failure; Heart rate; Ivabradine; NYHA class; Quality of life; Symptom reduction
24.  Clinical treatment reverses attentional deficits in congestive heart failure 
BMC Geriatrics  2001;1:2.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is associated with cognitive deficits, particularly of memory and attention. The present study aims to clarify whether clinical treatment can reverse the attentional deficits of patients with CHF.
A convenience sample of 50 patients with CHF functional class IV and 30 elderly controls were recruited from a teaching hospital in Brazil. Participants received a clinical and cognitive examination that included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Cambridge Cognitive Examination of the Elderly (CAMCOG), Digit Span, Digit-Symbol Substitution, and Letter Cancellation test. The cognitive performance of CHF patients was reassessed 6 weeks after the introduction of clinical treatment.
Twenty-seven CHF subjects had MMSE<24, compared to only 10 of the controls (p = 0.07). CHF patients also had lower CAMCOG scores (mean = 71.8) than controls (mean = 82.0; p < 0.01). Digit Span, Digit Symbol and Letter Cancellation scores were lower for patients with CHF than controls (p < 0.01). Similarly patients with CHF took longer to complete the Trail Making A (p = 0.07) and B (p < 0.01). CAMCOG scores and left ventricular ejection fraction were moderately correlated (rho = 0.4, p < 0.01). Nineteen patients were lost for follow-up (11 deceased). Clinical treatment was associated with significant improvement of cognitive scores, particularly on the Digit Symbol (p < 0.01) and Letter Cancellation Tests (p < 0.01). Digit Span, Digit Symbol, Letter Cancellation and Trail Making scores of treated CHF patients and controls were similar (p > 0.10).
CHF is associated with deficits in attention and psychomotor speed. These deficits improve with clinical treatment.
PMCID: PMC57979  PMID: 11604103
25.  Patient-Centered Research 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2000;15(Suppl 2):9-10.
A prospective cohort study was conducted to test our ability to identify chronically ill patients at near term risk of death by asking their primary care physician (PCP) the question, "Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next year of CHF or COPD?"
Patients were eligible for inclusion if 1) their clinic chart problem list carried a diagnosis of CHF or COPD, 2) they had been hospitalized within the past two years with primary or secondary diagnosis of CHF or COPD, or 3) direct identification by their PCP. Chart review was used to exclude patients erroneously carrying these diagnoses (e.g. coding errors), inactive patients (deceased or changed providers) and those patients with normal ejection fractions or not requiring scheduled β-2 agonist and anticholinergic bronchodialator therapy. Patients were then stratified on the basis of their PCP's response to the question, "Would you be surprised if this patient died in the next year from CHF or COPD?" All patients screened and stratified by the question were followed for the primary endpoint of death.
The initial data query identified 190 patients with CHF and/or COPD. A chart review excluded eight inactive patients and thirty-one patients who did not meet inclusion criteria or did meet exclusion criteria for significant disease. Of the remaining 151 patients, there were 72 whose PCP answered that he/she would not be surprised if the patient died from CHF and/or COPD in the next year. Within nine months, nine of these patients have died from complications of their CHF or COPD. There have been no deaths in the 79 patients whose PCP answered that they would be surprised if their patient died in the next year from CHF or COPD. (p-value < 0.01)
Patients with CHF and/or COPD at risk of near term death can be differentiated from those who are not at high risk by the PCPs'response to the question, "Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next year of their CHF and/or COPD?" Such screening may be useful to more efficiently target palliative services and end of life care planning to patients with advanced CHF and/or COPD.
PMCID: PMC1495730

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