Relation of loop diuretic dose to mortality in advanced heart failure

Am J Cardiol. 2006 Jun 15;97(12):1759-64. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2005.12.072. Epub 2006 Apr 27.


Although loop diuretics are widely used in heart failure (HF), their effect on outcomes has not been evaluated in large clinical trials. This study sought to determine the dose-dependent relation between loop diuretic use and HF prognosis. A cohort of 1,354 patients with advanced systolic HF referred to a single center was studied. Patients were divided into quartiles of equivalent total daily loop diuretic dose: 0 to 40, 41 to 80, 81 to 160, and >160 mg. The cohort was 76% male, with a mean age of 53+/-13 years and a mean ejection fraction of 24+/-7%. The mean diuretic dose equivalence was 107+/-87 mg. The diuretic quartile groups were similar in terms of gender, body mass index, ischemic cause of HF, history of hypertension, and spironolactone use, but the highest quartile was associated with a smaller ejection fraction and lower serum sodium and hemoglobin levels but higher serum blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels. There was a decrease in survival with increasing diuretic dose (83%, 81%, 68%, and 53% for quartiles 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively). Even after extensive co-variate adjustment (age, gender, ischemic cause of HF, the ejection fraction, body mass index, pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, peak oxygen consumption, beta-blocker use, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker use, digoxin use, statin use, serum sodium, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, hemoglobin, cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and smoking history), diuretic quartile remained an independent predictor of mortality (quartile 4 vs quartile 1 hazard ratio 4.0, 95% confidence interval 1.9 to 8.4). In conclusion, in this cohort of patients with advanced HF, there was an independent, dose-dependent association between loop diuretic use and impaired survival. Higher loop diuretic dosages identify patients with HF at particularly high risk for mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bumetanide / administration & dosage
  • California / epidemiology
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diuretics / administration & dosage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Furosemide / administration & dosage
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Heart Failure / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Stroke Volume
  • Sulfonamides / administration & dosage
  • Survival Analysis
  • Torsemide


  • Diuretics
  • Sulfonamides
  • Bumetanide
  • Furosemide
  • Creatinine
  • Torsemide