Context: The association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) at admission, clinical characteristics, and outcomes in patients hospitalized for heart failure who have reduced or relatively preserved systolic function has not been well studied.
Objective: To evaluate the relationship between SBP at admission, clinical profile, and outcomes in patients hospitalized for acute heart failure.
Design, setting, and patients: Cohort study using data from the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients with Heart Failure (OPTIMIZE-HF) registry and performance-improvement program for patients hospitalized with heart failure at 259 US hospitals between March 2003 and December 2004. Patients were divided into quartiles by SBP at hospital admission (<120, 120-139, 140-161, and >161 mm Hg). In-hospital outcomes were based on 48,612 patients aged 18 years or older with heart failure. Of the 41,267 patients with left ventricular function assessed, 21,149 (51%) had preserved left ventricular function. Postdischarge outcomes were based on a prespecified subgroup (n = 5791, 10% of patients) with follow-up data assessed between 60 and 90 days.
Main outcome measures: In-hospital and postdischarge mortality.
Results: Patients with higher SBP were more likely to be female and black and to have preserved systolic function. Fifty percent of the patients had SBP higher than 140 mm Hg at admission. Patients with lower SBP at admission had higher in-hospital and postdischarge mortality rates. Higher SBP at admission was associated with lower in-hospital mortality rates: 7.2% (<120 mm Hg), 3.6% (120-139 mm Hg), 2.5% (140-161 mm Hg), and 1.7% (>161 mm Hg) (P<.001 for overall difference). Postdischarge mortality rates in the follow-up cohort by SBP at admission were 14.0%, 8.4%, 6.0%, and 5.4%, respectively (P<.001 for overall difference).
Conclusions: Systolic hypertension is common in patients hospitalized for heart failure. Systolic blood pressure is an independent predictor of morbidity and mortality in patients with heart failure with either reduced or relatively preserved systolic function. Low SBP (<120 mm Hg) at hospital admission identifies patients who have a poor prognosis despite medical therapy. These findings may have important therapeutic implications because characteristics and outcomes differ greatly among patients with heart failure with varying SBP.