New Study of Heart Rate and Mortality Risk

By | October 10, 2017

Dr. Thomas E. Love has collaborated on a new study, “Heart Rate and Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction“. Among older hospitalized patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a lower heart rate at discharge is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, but not with lower HF-related or all-cause readmission, according to a study published Oct. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. A lower heart rate is associated with better outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (EF). Less is known about this association in patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Using data from the Medicare-linked OPTIMIZE-HF study, a group led by Phillip H. Lam and Daniel J. Dooley, and including Dr. Love, examined the associations of discharge heart rate with outcomes in 8,873 hospitalized patients with HFpEF. During a six-year follow-up, all-cause mortality for matched patients was 65 percent for those with a discharge heart rate <70 beats/min vs. 70 percent for those with ≥70 beats/min. A heart rate below 70 beats/min was also associated with a lower risk for the combined endpoint of HF readmission or all-cause mortality. Subgroup analyses demonstrated that the beneficial association between heart rate <70 beats/min and all-cause mortality was similar across various clinically relevant subgroups of patients, including those by baseline atrial fibrillation and beta-blocker use. “These findings suggest that the beneficial association of a lower heart rate and improved survival observed in patients with HFrEF [HF with reduced ejection fraction] might extend to those with HFpEF,” the study authors write. “Future studies are needed to develop and test interventions that might improve outcomes in patients with HFpEF and elevated heart rate.” Read details from the American College of Cardiology.