Long-term survival following the development of heart failure in an elderly hypertensive population.
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Background: Available data on the prognosis of heart failure (HF) patients is predominantly limited to patients diagnosed at time of hospitalization. AIMS: To describe the long-term survival of incident HF patients and identify clinical characteristics associated with mortality. Methods: The Second Australian National Blood Pressure Study (ANBP2) randomized 6083 hypertensive subjects aged 65-84 years to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor or thiazide diuretic-based therapy and followed them for a median of 4.1 years. One hundred forty-five participants who developed HF and 5938 who remained free from HF during the trial period were followed for a median of 6.7 years during a post-trial follow-up. Results: Three quarters, 110 (76%) of HF patients had died at the end of the follow-up. The five and ten-year survival rates following HF diagnosis during the trial period were 37% and 15%, respectively in men, compared with 60% and 33%, respectively in women. In non-heart failure participants the five and ten-year survival rates, following enrolment into the study, were 92% and 76%, respectively. Mortality following HF diagnosis increased with advancing age (HR=1.09, 95% CI: 1.04-1.33). In addition, male gender and pre-existing diabetes were predictive of mortality, while ACE inhibitor-based therapy for the initial trial was associated with 39% decrease (HR=0.61, 95% CI: 0.41-0.91) in mortality compared with a thiazide-diuretic-based regimen. Conclusions: Long-term survival in an elderly HF patients is poor, especially in men. Mortality in HF patients increased progressively with advancing age, while allocation to the ACE inhibitor-based regimen for the initial trial significantly improved HF outcome.
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