The prognostic significance of lung function in stable heart failure outpatients

Louis Lind Plesner, Morten Dalsgaard, Morten Schou, Lars Køber, Jørgen Vestbo, Erik Kjøller, Kasper Iversen

18 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: This study investigated the impact on all-cause mortality of airflow limitation indicative of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or restrictive spirometry pattern (RSP) in a stable systolic heart failure population.

HYPOTHESIS: Decreased lung function indicates poor survival in heart failure.

METHODS: Inclusion criteria: NYHA class II-IV and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < 45%. Prognosis was assessed with multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Two criteria of obstructive airflow limitation were applied: FEV1 /FVC < 0.7 (GOLD), and FEV1 /FVC < lower limit of normality (LLN). RSP was defined as FEV1 /FVC > 0.7 and FVC<80% or FEV1 /FVC > LLN and FVC <LLN.

RESULTS: There where 573 patients in the cohort (85% of eligible patients in study period). Median follow-up was 4.7 years and 176 patients died (31%). Age, NYHA class, smoking, body mass index and LVEF were independent prognostic factors (p<0.01). Obstructive airflow limitation increased mortality using both criteria (HRGOLD 2.07 [95% CI 1.45-2.95] p<0.01 and HRLLN 2.00 [1.40-2.84] p<0.01) and was an independent marker when using LLN criteria (HR 1.74 [1.17-2.59] p=0.006). RSP was independently associated with mortality when defined as FVC < LLN (HR 1.54 [1.01-2.35] p=0.04) but not as FVC < 80%. Multivariate hazard ratios for a 10% decrease in predicted value of FEV1 or FVC were 1.42 (p<0.001) and 1.33 (p<0.001) in patients exhibiting airflow obstruction, and 1.36 (p=0.031) and 1.38 (p=0.041) in RSP.

CONCLUSIONS: Presence of obstructive airflow limitation indicative of COPD or RSP were associated with increased all-cause mortality, however only independently when using the LLN definition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1145-1151
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Journal Article


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