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Outcomes among acute heart failure emergency department patients by preserved vs. reduced ejection fraction

This study aimed to assess short-term outcomes among emergency department (ED) patients with acute heart failure (AHF) by preserved (≥50%) vs. reduced (<50%) ejection fraction (EF). We conducted a retrospective, multicentre study of adult ED patients with AHF from 2017 to 2018 in an integrated healthcare system with 21 hospitals. Among patients with known EF, our primary outcome was 30 day all-cause mortality, comparing patients with heart failure with preserved EF (HFpEF) and heart failure with reduced EF (HFrEF), adjusted for known risk factors. We ran separate multivariate regression models to compare 30 day mortality between HFpEF and HFrEF patients stratified by ED disposition (admit, observe, and discharge). Our secondary outcomes were adjusted 30 day all-cause return hospital admission and rates of non-fatal serious adverse events, including new intra-aorta balloon pump, endotracheal intubation, renal failure requiring dialysis, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization. We conducted a sensitivity analysis among patients with EF ≤ 40% and compared our primary and secondary outcomes among patients with EF ≤ 40% with those with EF ≥ 50%. Among the 26 050 total ED encounters for AHF, 15 275 (58.6%) had known EF and 62.4% had HFpEF. The mean age was 76, 49.6% were women, and 60.5% were white. We found that 62.4% of patients were admitted, 18.3% were observed, and 19.3% were discharged from the ED. The 30 day all-cause mortality rate was lowest among discharged patients (3.9%), intermediate among observed patients (5.9%), and highest among admitted patients (13.9%). Overall, the adjusted 30 day mortality rate was significantly higher among HFpEF patients compared with HFrEF patients (10.2% vs. 8.4%, P = 0.0004). HFpEF patients had higher mortality regardless of ED disposition, although the difference was only significant among admitted patients. The adjusted 30 day return hospital admission rates were not significantly different between HFpEF and HFrEF patients (17.9% vs. 17.8%, P = 0.89). The adjusted 30 day non-fatal serious adverse event rates were significantly higher among HFrEF patients compared with HFpEF patients (13.7% vs. 11.1%, P < 0.0001), driven by myocardial infarction and coronary revascularization. We found that 3692 patients had EF ≤ 40%. Patients with EF ≥ 50% had significantly higher adjusted 30 day mortality rates compared with those with EF ≤ 40% (10.2% vs. 8.4%, P < 0.05). In a contemporary population, almost three quarters of ED patients with AHF and known EF have HFpEF. These patients have higher 30 day adjusted mortality compared with those with HFrEF. Further studies might evaluate the underlying factors associated with this difference and target interventions to improve outcomes.

Authors: Sax, Dana R; Rana, Jamal S; Mark, Dustin G; Huang, Jie; Collins, Sean P; Liu, Dandan; Storrow, Alan B; Reed, Mary E; KP CREST Network,

ESC Heart Fail. 2021 08;8(4):2889-2898. Epub 2021-05-12.

PubMed abstract

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