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Hospitalization for Recently Diagnosed Versus Worsening Chronic Heart Failure: From the ASCEND-HF Trial.

BACKGROUND: It is unclear how patients hospitalized for acute heart failure (HF) who are long-term chronic HF survivors differ from those with more recent HF diagnoses.OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of HF chronicity on acute HF patient profiles and outcomes.METHODS: The ASCEND-HF (Acute Study of Clinical Effectiveness of Nesiritide in Decompensated Heart Failure) trial randomized 7,141 hospitalized patients with acute HF with reduced or preserved ejection fraction (EF) to receive nesiritide or placebo in addition to standard care. The present analysis compared patients according to duration of HF diagnosis before index hospitalization by using pre-specified cutoffs (0 to 1 month [i.e., "recently diagnosed"], >1 to 12 months, >12 to 60 months, and >60 months).RESULTS: Overall, 5,741 (80.4%) patients had documentation of duration of HF diagnosis (recently diagnosed, n = 1,536; >1 to 12 months, n = 1,020; >12 to 60 months, n = 1,653; and >60 months, n = 1,532). Across HF duration groups, mean age ranged from 64 to 66 years, and mean ejection fraction ranged from 29% to 32%. Compared with patients with longer HF duration, recently diagnosed patients were more likely to be women with nonischemic HF etiology, higher baseline blood pressure, better baseline renal function, and fewer comorbidities. After adjustment, compared with recently diagnosed patients, patients with longer HF duration were associated with more persistent dyspnea at 24 h (>1 to 12 months, odds ratio [OR]: 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.97 to 1.48; >12 to 60 months, OR: 1.34; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.62; and >60 months, OR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.08 to 1.60) and increased 180-day mortality (>1 to 12 months, hazard ratio [HR]: 1.89; 95% CI: 1.35 to 2.65; >12 to 60 months, HR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.33 to 2.48; and >60 months, HR: 2.02; 95% CI: 1.47 to 2.77). The influence of HF duration on mortality was potentially more pronounced among female patients (interaction p = 0.05), but did not differ according to age, race, prior ischemic heart disease, or ejection fraction (all interactions, p ≥ 0.23).CONCLUSIONS: In this acute HF trial, patient profile differed according to duration of the HF diagnosis. A diagnosis of HF for ≤1 month before hospitalization was independently associated with greater early dyspnea relief and improved post-discharge survival compared to patients with chronic HF diagnoses. The distinction between de novo or recently diagnosed HF and worsening chronic HF should be considered in the design of future acute HF trials. (A Study Testing the Effectiveness of Nesiritide in Patients With Acute Decompensated Heart Failure; NCT00475852).

Authors: Greene, Stephen J SJ; Hernandez, Adrian F AF; Dunning, Allison A; Ambrosy, Andrew P AP; Armstrong, Paul W PW; Butler, Javed J; Cerbin, Lukasz P LP; Coles, Adrian A; Ezekowitz, Justin A JA; Metra, Marco M; Starling, Randall C RC; Teerlink, John R JR; Voors, Adriaan A AA; O'Connor, Christopher M CM; Mentz, Robert J RJ

Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2017 Jun 27;69(25):3029-3039. Epub 2017-06-28.

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