Heart's pumping function is not an indicator of heart failure survival rates

November 12, 2017, University of California, Los Angeles

Contrary to popular practice, a measure of the heart's pumping function known as "left ventricular ejection fraction" is not associated with the long-term outcomes of hospitalized heart failure patients, a UCLA-led study of Medicare patients has found. Hospitalized heart failure patients in all age groups within the study and with all levels of ejection fraction had significantly lower rates of survival after five years and a higher risk of re-hospitalization than people in the United States without heart failure. Better treatments for heart failure and new ways of predicting patient outcomes are needed, researchers concluded.

Heart failure occurs when heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Ejection fraction is measured by ultrasound and shows how well the heart is pumping. Doctors use ejection fraction to guide treatment of patients and estimate their likelihood of re-hospitalization and survival. This is the first study to use national data to specifically categorize heart failure by three distinct ejection fraction subgroups.

Researchers used national data from the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and included 39,982 patients from 254 hospitals admitted for heart failure from 2005 to 2009. The study categorized the patients by three distinct subgroups: normal, borderline and reduced.

These findings underscore the serious nature of a diagnosis of heart failure and the long-term risk associated with it, regardless of the heart's estimated pump function. Cardiologists need to find new strategies to better treat patients with heart failure, and prevent patients from developing heart failure in the first place.

The next stage of research will look at the specific causes of death for the different subgroups and determine potential treatment strategies to improve their outcomes.

The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions on Nov. 12.

Explore further: Ivabradine may not benefit certain heart failure patients

Related Stories

Ivabradine may not benefit certain heart failure patients

April 30, 2017
Researchers have completed a randomized clinical trial in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which currently has no effective treatment for reducing morbidity and mortality.

Method helps determine heart failure patients' risks

April 30, 2017
A new analysis describes different classifications of patients who are hospitalized with acute heart failure based on various characteristics, which may help guide early decisions regarding triage and treatment.

Diabetes may have important effects in patients with acute heart failure

June 26, 2017
Researchers have found that patients with acute heart failure and diabetes, compared with those without diabetes, have distinct markers related to inflammation, cardiovascular function, and kidney health.

Vitamin D improves heart function, study finds

April 4, 2016
A daily dose of vitamin D3 improves heart function in people with chronic heart failure, a five-year University of Leeds research project has found.

Hospital survival differs among Hispanic and non-Hispanic heart failure patients

March 13, 2012
The odds of surviving their hospital stay for heart failure differ between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients according to their level of heart function, even when they received equal care in hospitals participating ...

Researchers find comparable long-term outcomes between diastolic and systolic heart failure patients

January 9, 2014
A new study by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) found comparable long-term outcomes between congestive heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction commonly ...

Recommended for you

No sweat required: Team finds hypertension treatment that mimics effect of exercise

October 16, 2018
Couch potatoes rejoice—there might be a way to get the blood pressure lowering benefits of exercise in pill form.

New model suggests cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring possible using pulse waves

October 16, 2018
A large team of researchers from several institutions in China and the U.S. has developed a model that suggests it should be possible to create a cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitor based on measuring pulse waves. ...

Why heart contractions are weaker in those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

October 16, 2018
When a young athlete suddenly dies of a heart attack, chances are high that they suffer from familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Itis the most common genetic heart disease in the US and affects an estimated 1 in 500 ...

Novel genetic study sheds new light on risk of heart attack

October 12, 2018
Loss of a protein that regulates mitochondrial function can greatly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), Vanderbilt scientists reported Oct. 3 in the journal eLife.

Researchers say ritual for orthodox Jewish men may offer heart benefits

October 11, 2018
A pilot study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine suggests Jewish men who practice wearing tefillin, which involves the tight wrapping of an arm with leather banding as part of daily ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.