Co-morbidities in heart failure

Heart Fail Rev. 2014 Mar;19(2):163-72. doi: 10.1007/s10741-012-9370-7.


Heart failure is a clinical syndrome characterized by poor quality of life and high morbidity and mortality. Co-morbidities frequently accompany heart failure and further decrease in both quality of life and clinical outcome. We describe that the prevalence of co-morbidities in patients with heart failure is much higher compared to age-matched controls. We will specifically address the most studied organ-related co-morbidities, that is, renal dysfunction, cerebral dysfunction, anaemia, liver dysfunction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus and sleep apnoea. The pathophysiologic processes underlying the interaction between heart failure and co-morbid conditions are complex and remain largely unresolved. Although common risk factors are likely to contribute, it is reasonable to believe that factors associated with heart failure might cause other co-morbid conditions. Inflammation, neurohumoral pathway activation and hemodynamic changes are potential factors. We try to provide explanations for the observed association between co-morbidities and heart failure, as well as its impact on survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors