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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

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  • 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
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AIMS: 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.

METHODS AND RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSIONS: 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 AF.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifiers NCT01035255 and NCT00853658.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Volume22
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)528-538
Number of pages11
ISSN1388-9842
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2019 European Society of Cardiology.

ID: 59437662