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Relationship between heart rate and outcomes in patients in sinus rhythm or atrial fibrillation with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction.

Journal article
Authors Kieran F Docherty
Li Shen
Davide Castagno
Mark C Petrie
William T Abraham
Michael Böhm
Akshay S Desai
Kenneth Dickstein
Lars V Køber
Milton Packer
Jean L Rouleau
Scott D Solomon
Karl Swedberg
Ali Vazir
Michael R Zile
Pardeep S Jhund
John J V McMurray
Published in European journal of heart failure
ISSN 1879-0844
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Language en
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


To investigate the relationship between heart rate and outcomes in heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) patients in sinus rhythm (SR) and atrial fibrillation (AF) adjusting for natriuretic peptide concentration, a powerful prognosticator.Of 13 562 patients from two large HFrEF trials, 10 113 (74.6%) were in SR and 3449 (25.4%) in AF. The primary endpoint was the composite of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalization. Heart rate was analysed as a categorical (tertiles, T1-3) and continuous variable (per 10 bpm), separately in patients in SR and AF. Outcomes were adjusted for prognostic variables, including N-terminal prohormone of B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and also examined using change from baseline heart rate to 1 year (≤ -10 bpm, ≥ +10 bpm, < ±10 bpm). SR patients with a higher heart rate had worse symptoms and quality of life, more often had diabetes and higher NT-proBNP concentrations. They had higher risk of the primary endpoint [T3 vs. T1 adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.35-1.66; P < 0.001; per 10 bpm: 1.12, 95% CI 1.09-1.16; P < 0.001]. In SR, heart rate was associated with a relatively higher risk of pump failure than sudden death (adjusted HR per 10 bpm 1.17, 95% CI 1.09-1.26; P < 0.001 vs. 1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.13; P = 0.011). Heart rate was not predictive of any outcome in AF.In HFrEF, an elevated heart rate was an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular outcomes in patients in SR, even after adjustment for NT-proBNP. There was no relationship between heart rate and outcomes in Identifiers NCT01035255 and NCT00853658.

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