Pulmonary pressures and death in heart failure: a community study

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Jan 17;59(3):222-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.06.076.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine among community patients with heart failure (HF) whether pulmonary artery systolic pressure (PASP) assessed by Doppler echocardiography was associated with death and improved risk prediction over established factors, using the integrated discrimination improvement and net reclassification improvement.

Background: Although several studies have focused on idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, less is known about pulmonary hypertension among patients with HF, particularly about its prognostic value in the community.

Methods: Between 2003 and 2010, Olmsted County residents with HF prospectively underwent assessment of ejection fraction, diastolic function, and PASP by Doppler echocardiography.

Results: PASP was recorded in 1,049 of 1,153 patients (mean age 76 ± 13; 51% women). Median PASP was 48 mm Hg (25th to 75th percentile: 37.0 to 58.0). There were 489 deaths after a follow-up of 2.7 ± 1.9 years. There was a strong positive graded association between PASP and mortality. Increasing PASP was associated with an increased risk of death (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.13 to 1.85 for tertile 2; HR: 2.07, 95% CI: 1.62 to 2.64 for tertile 3 vs. tertile 1), independently of age, sex, comorbidities, ejection fraction, and diastolic function. Adding PASP to models including these clinical characteristics resulted in an increase in the c-statistic from 0.704 to 0.742 (p = 0.007), an integrated discrimination improvement gain of 4.2% (p < 0.001), and a net reclassification improvement of 14.1% (p = 0.002), indicating that PASP improved prediction of death over traditional prognostic factors. All results were similar for cardiovascular death.

Conclusions: Among community patients with HF, PASP strongly predicts death and provides incremental and clinically relevant prognostic information independently of known predictors of outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Failure / mortality*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / mortality*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure / physiology*
  • Residence Characteristics*