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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 41

of 'Palliative care for patients with advanced heart failure: Indications and strategies'

Frailty predicts long-term mortality in elderly subjects with chronic heart failure.
Cacciatore F, Abete P, Mazzella F, Viati L, Della Morte D, D'Ambrosio D, Gargiulo G, Testa G, Santis D, Galizia G, Ferrara N, Rengo F
Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 Dec;35(12):723-30.
BACKGROUND: The elderly are characterized by a high prevalence of chronic heart failure (CHF) and frailty, which is a complex interaction of physical, psychological and social impairment. This study aimed to examine the predictive role of frailty on long-term mortality in elderly subjects with CHF.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study assessed long-term mortality after 12-year follow up in 120 subjects with CHF and 1139 subjects without CHF, selected in 1992, from a random sample of the elderly population in the Campania region of Italy. Frailty was assessed according to a 'Frailty Staging System'.
RESULTS: Subjects with CHF were prevalently female (60%) and older than 75 years (mean 75.9 +/- 6.7); subjects without CHF were prevalently female (56.4%) and younger than 75 years (mean 74.0 +/- 6.3). In subjects with and without CHF stratified into classes of frailty there was a statistically significant increase in age, comorbidity, disability and low social support, and a decrease in MMSE score. Moreover, death progressively increased more with frailty in subjects (70.0% to 94.4%, P<0.03) than in those without (43.8.% to 88.3%, P<0.0001) CHF. The Kaplan-Meier analysis shows that at 9 years the probability of survival progressively decreased as frailty increased (45.5% to 0%) in subjects with CHF and from 62.8% to 25.9% in subjects without CHF. The Cox regression analysis indicated that frailty is predictive of mortality in the multivariate model adjusted for several variables including sex and age in subjects with and without CHF. Moreover, the analysis showed that frailty is more predictive of mortality in elderly subjects with CHF when it was analyzed either as continuous (1.48 vs. 1.36) or as a dummy (3 vs. 1 = 1.62 vs. 1.24) variable.
CONCLUSIONS: Thus mortality among elderly subjects with or without CHF increases with frailty. Moreover, frailty is more predictive of long-term mortality in elderly subjects with than in those without CHF. Hence, frailty represents a new independent variable for predicting long-term mortality in elderly subjects with CHF.
Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Institute of Care and Scientific Research, Telese (BN), Italy.