Noncardiac-Related Morbidity, Mobility Limitation, and Outcomes in Older Adults With Heart Failure

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Sep 25;75(10):1981-1988. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz285.


Background: To examine the individual and combined associations of noncardiac-related conditions and mobility limitation with morbidity and mortality in adults with heart failure (HF).

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a large, diverse group of adults with HF from five U.S. integrated healthcare delivery systems. We characterized patients with respect to the presence of noncardiac conditions (<3 vs ≥3) and/or mobility impairment (defined by the use/nonuse of a wheelchair, cane, or walker), categorizing them into four subgroups. Outcomes included all-cause death and hospitalizations for HF or any cause.

Results: Among 114,553 adults diagnosed with HF (mean age: 73 years old, 46% women), compared with <3 noncardiac conditions/no mobility limitation, adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause death among those with <3 noncardiac conditions/mobility limitation, ≥3 noncardiac conditions/no mobility limitation, ≥3 noncardiac conditions/mobility limitation (vs) were 1.40 (95% CI, 1.31-1.51), 1.72 (95% CI, 1.69-1.75), and 1.93 (95% CI, 1.85-2.01), respectively. We did not observe an increased risk of any-cause or HF-related hospitalization related to the presence of mobility limitation among those with a greater burden of noncardiac multimorbidity. Consistent findings regarding mortality were observed within groups defined according to age, gender, and HF type (preserved, reduced, mid-range ejection fraction), with the most prominent impact of mobility limitation in those <65 years of age.

Conclusions: There is an additive association of mobility limitation, beyond the burden of noncardiac multimorbidity, on mortality for patients with HF, and especially prominent in younger patients.

Keywords: Mobility impairment; Mortality; Multimorbidity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Morbidity / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology