Hospitalization due to acute heart failure. Role of the precipitating factors

Int J Cardiol. 2007 Aug 21;120(2):237-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2006.10.004. Epub 2006 Dec 18.


Background and aims: Many precipitating factors for decompensation of a chronic, stable heart failure (HF) have been described.

Objectives: To evaluate the precipitating factors associated with HF decompensation among 293 patients admitted to a teaching hospital because of acute HF.

Results: 173 women and 120 men were included, and mean age was 76.7 years. In 221 patients (75%) there was some evidence of a factor that was potentially accountable for the decompensation of HF; a combination of two or more factors could be elicited in 100 patients. Except for a worse prior functional status, no differences were found between patients with and without identified precipitating factors.

Conclusions: Precipitating factors may be identified in most patients suffering an acute episode of decompensation of HF. The majority of these factors appear to be preventable, and should thus be avoidable with a better, more comprehensive control of the HF patient.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precipitating Factors
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Spain / epidemiology