Prevalence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction and heart failure in high risk patients: community based epidemiological study

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Abstract

Objectives To determine the prevalence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction, and of heart failure due to different causes, in patients with risk factors for these conditions. Design Epidemiological study, including detailed clinical assessment, electrocardiography, and echocardiography. Setting 16 English general practices, representative for socioeconomic status and practice type. Participants 1062 patients (66% response rate) with previous myocardial infarction, angina, hypertension, or diabetes. Main outcome measures Prevalence of systolic dysfunction, both with and without symptoms, and of heart failure, in groups of patients with each of the risk factors. Results Definite systolic dysfunction (ejection fraction <40%) was found in 54/244 (22.1%, 95% confidence interval 17.1% to 27.9%) patients with previous myocardial infarction, 26/321 (8.1%, 5.4% to 11.6%) with angina, 7/388 (1.8%, 0.7% to 3.7%) with hypertension, and 12/208 (5.8%, 3.0% to 9.9%) with diabetes. In each group, approximately half of these patients had symptoms of dyspnoea, and therefore had heart failure. Overall rates of heart failure, defined as symptoms of dyspnoea plus objective evidence of cardiac dysfunction (systolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, or clinically significant valve disease) were 16.0% (11.6% to 21.2%) in patients with previous myocardial infarction, 8.4% (5.6% to 12.0%) in those with angina, 2.8% (1.4% to 5.0%) in those with hypertension, and 7.7% (4.5% to 12.21%) in those with diabetes. Conclusion Many people with ischaemic heart disease or diabetes have systolic dysfunction or heart failure. The data support the need for trials of targeted echocardiographic screening, in view of the major benefits of modern treatment. In contrast, patients with uncomplicated hypertension have similar rates to the general population.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1158
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Volume325
Issue number7373
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2002

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