Objectives: The goal of this study was to estimate the population burden of heart failure and the influence of modifiable risk factors.
Background: Heart failure is a common, costly, and fatal disorder, yet few studies have evaluated the population-level influence of modifiable risk factors.
Methods: From 14,709 ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study participants, we estimated incidence rate differences (IRD) for the association between 5 modifiable risk factors (cigarette smoking, diabetes, elevated low-density lipoproteins, hypertension, and obesity) and heart failure. Potential impact fractions were used to measure expected changes in the heart failure incidence assuming achievement of a 5% proportional decrement in the prevalence of each risk factor.
Results: Over an average of 17.6 years of follow-up, 1 in 3 African American and 1 in 4 Caucasian participants were hospitalized with heart failure, defined as the first hospitalization with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision discharge codes of 428.x. Of the 5 modifiable risk factors, the largest IRD was observed for diabetes, which was associated with 1,058 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 787 to 1,329) and 660 (95% CI: 514 to 805) incident hospitalizations of heart failure/100,000 person-years among African-American and Caucasian participants, respectively. A 5% proportional reduction in the prevalence of diabetes would result in approximately 53 and 33 fewer incident heart failure hospitalizations per 100,000 person-years in African-American and Caucasian ARIC participants, respectively. When applied to U.S. populations, this reduction may prevent approximately 30,000 incident cases of heart failure annually.
Conclusions: Modest decrements in the prevalence of modifiable heart failure risk factors such as diabetes may substantially decrease the incidence of this major disease.
Copyright © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.