One-year mortality among unselected outpatients with heart failure

Eur Heart J. 2002 Dec;23(23):1861-6. doi: 10.1053/euhj.2002.3282.


Objective: To estimate 1-year mortality and prognostic factors in unselected outpatients with heart failure, and to compare the observed mortality with the estimates of the primary care physicians.

Methods and results: Four hundred and eleven consecutive patients with heart failure New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II-IV (mean population age 75 years, 56% males) were enrolled in 71 primary care offices throughout Switzerland. During a mean follow-up period of 1.4 years, 68 patients had died. One-year total mortality was 12.6% compared to 4.3% in the underlying Swiss population (standardized mortality ratio 3.0). Among patients with heart failure NYHA II, III and IV, mortality was 7.1%, 15.0% and 28.0%, respectively. In multivariate Cox regression, statistically significant (P<0.05) predictors of mortality were NYHA class (NYHA III: risk ratio [RR]=1.6; NYHA IV: RR=2.2), recent hospital stay for heart disease (RR=2.3), creatinine>120 micromol.l(-1) (RR=1.8) systolic blood pressure<100 mmHg (RR=2.4), heart rate>100 min(-1) (RR=2.7), age (per 10 years, RR=1.6) and female gender (RR=0.49). Among patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, 1-year mortality was 14.3%, and predictors were similar except that female gender was no longer associated with reduced mortality. Primary care physicians significantly overestimated 1-year mortality (estimated mortality 25.9% vs observed mortality 12.6%,P =0.001).

Conclusions: Unselected outpatients with heart failure have a poor prognosis, particularly those with advanced heart failure and a recent hospital stay for heart disease. Primary care physicians are aware of the high mortality of this growing patient population.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Switzerland / epidemiology