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One in four patients develop heart failure within four years of first heart attack

Risk factors include older age, socioeconomic deprivation, and diabetes

Heart Failure (HF)


EMBARGOED: 24 May 2016 at 10:00 CEST

Florence, Italy – 24 May 2016: One in four patients develop heart failure within four years of a first heart attack, according to a study in nearly 25 000 patients presented today at Heart Failure 2016 and the 3rd World Congress on Acute Heart Failure by Dr Johannes Gho, a cardiology resident at the University Medical Center Utrecht, in Utrecht, the Netherlands.1 Risk factors included older age, greater socioeconomic deprivation, and comorbidities such as diabetes.

“Heart failure is a major medical problem with a high chance of hospitalisation and death,” said Dr Gho. “Patients with ischaemic heart disease are at the highest risk. This includes those who have had a myocardial infarction, also called heart attack.”

He continued: “Research studying incidence of heart failure following myocardial infarction is limited and mainly stems from the thrombolytic era, when drugs were used to dissolve blood clots. Today the preferred treatment for acute myocardial infarction is percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) where a stent is used to open the blocked artery.”

The current study used prospectively collected electronic health records to investigate the contemporary incidence and risk factors for heart failure after a first myocardial infarction. “Finding which heart attack patients are most likely to get heart failure would help us target preventive therapies,” said Dr Gho.

The study used data from the UK based CALIBER (CArdiovascular research using LInked Bespoke studies and Electronic health Records) programme. Primary care records were linked to hospital admissions and national registries on myocardial infarction and mortality.

The researchers identified 24 745 patients aged 18 years or older who experienced a first myocardial infarction between 1 January 1998 and 25 March 2010 and had no prior history of heart failure. Patients were followed up for a median of 3.7 years for the first recorded heart failure diagnosis in any of the CALIBER sources.

During follow-up, 6005 (24.3%) patients developed heart failure. Dr Gho said: “Around one in four patients developed heart failure within four years of a first myocardial infarction in the current era. This was relatively stable over time possibly due to two competing trends. On the one hand, PCI has improved treatment for myocardial infarction so the risk of heart failure would be expected to decrease. On the other hand, because treatment has improved, more patients are alive after a heart attack to subsequently get heart failure.”

A number of factors were associated with an increased risk of developing heart failure after a first myocardial infarction. Every ten year rise in age was associated with a 45% increased risk. Greater socioeconomic deprivation (5th versus 1st quintile) was associated with a 27% increased risk.

The following conditions were associated with a higher risk of developing heart failure after a first myocardial infarction: diabetes (44% increased risk), atrial fibrillation (63% increased risk), peripheral arterial disease (38% increased risk), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (28% increased risk), ST elevation myocardial infarction at presentation (21% increased risk), and hypertension (16% increased risk).

Dr Gho said: “Previous research looking at all cause heart failure, not only after myocardial infarction, has found similar risk factors. Our large cohort study confirms that these are also risky conditions for heart attack patients in the current era.”

He concluded: “Identifying these prognostic factors in heart attack patients could help us predict their risk of developing heart failure and allow us to give treatments to reduce that risk.”

ENDS

References

1. Dr Gho will present the abstract ‘Heart failure following myocardial infarction: a cohort study of incidence and prognostic factors in 24 745 patients using linked electronic records’ during Moderated Poster Session 6 – Comorbidities which takes place on 24 May from 10:00 to 11:00 in the Moderated Poster Area.

Notes to editor

About Heart Failure 2016 and the 3rd World Congress on Acute Heart Failure

Heart Failure is the annual congress of the Heart Failure Association of the ESC. The 3rd World Congress on Acute Heart Failure is part of the main programme of Heart Failure 2016.

 

About the Heart Failure Association

The Heart Failure Association (HFA) is a registered branch of the ESC. Its aim is to improve quality of life and longevity, through better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, including the establishment of networks for its management, education and research.

 

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) represents more than 95 000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

 

Information for journalists attending Heart Failure 2016

Heart Failure 2016 takes place 21 to 24 May in Florence, Italy at the Fortezza da Basso. The full scientific programme is available here

  • To register on-site please bring avalid press card or appropriate letter of assignment with proof of three recent published articles (cardiology or health-related, or referring to a previous ESC Event).
  • Press registration is not available to industry or its public relations representatives, event management, marketing or communications representatives.