Aims: In patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), there is limited information on self-rated health (SRH). We aimed to examine the distribution of SRH and whether SRH is associated with mortality in patients with stable CHF.
Methods and results: We enrolled 100 patients (71 +/- 11 years, 54% men, left ventricular ejection fraction 47 +/- 11%) in a prospective study with 48 months of follow-up. Self-rated health was assessed using a seven-grade descriptive scale: very good, good, quite good, average, quite poor, poor, and very poor. Median SRH was quite poor and the most frequent SRH (31 patients) was average. During an average follow-up of 1005 +/- 507 days, 58 patients died. More patients in the group that rated their health as quite poor or worse died (70% vs. 43%, P = 0.008). In a Cox proportional hazard model, SRH as a seven-grade descriptive scale [hazard ratios (HR) 1.39, 95% CI 1.10-1.74] or as a median value (HR 2.13, 95% CI 1.23-3.69) predicted mortality. The association remained significant after adjustment for patient characteristics and biomarkers (P < 0.05 for both).
Conclusion: In patients with stable CHF, SRH independently predicts mortality. This suggests that SRH could be used in everyday clinical practice to obtain important prognostic information beyond clinical examination and laboratory work-up.