Context A predictive model of mortality in heart failure may be useful for clinicians
to improve communication with and care of hospitalized patients.
Objectives To identify predictors of mortality and to develop and to validate a
model using information available at hospital presentation.
Design, Setting, and Participants Retrospective study of 4031 community-based patients presenting with
heart failure at multiple hospitals in Ontario, Canada (2624 patients in the
derivation cohort from 1999-2001 and 1407 patients in the validation cohort
from 1997-1999), who had been identitifed as part of the Enhanced Feedback
for Effective Cardiac Treatment (EFFECT) study.
Main Outcome Measures All-cause 30-day and 1-year mortality.
Results The mortality rates for the derivation cohort and validation cohort,
respectively, were 8.9% and 8.2% in hospital, 10.7% and 10.4% at 30 days,
and 32.9% and 30.5% at 1 year. Multivariable predictors of mortality at both
30 days and 1 year included older age, lower systolic blood pressure, higher
respiratory rate, higher urea nitrogen level (all P<.001),
and hyponatremia (P<.01). Comorbid conditions
associated with mortality included cerebrovascular disease (30-day mortality
odds ratio [OR], 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.98; P = .03), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (OR, 1.66; 95% CI,
1.22-2.27; P = .002), hepatic cirrhosis (OR, 3.22;
95% CI, 1.08-9.65; P = .04), dementia (OR, 2.54;
95% CI, 1.77-3.65; P<.001), and cancer (OR, 1.86;
95% CI, 1.28-2.70; P = .001). A risk index stratified
the risk of death and identified low- and high-risk individuals. Patients
with very low-risk scores (≤60) had a mortality rate of 0.4% at 30 days
and 7.8% at 1 year. Patients with very high-risk scores (>150) had a mortality
rate of 59.0% at 30 days and 78.8% at 1 year. Patients with higher 1-year
risk scores had reduced survival at all times up to 1 year (log-rank, P<.001). For the derivation cohort, the area under the
receiver operating characteristic curve for the model was 0.80 for 30-day
mortality and 0.77 for 1-year mortality. Predicted mortality rates in the
validation cohort closely matched observed rates across the entire spectrum
Conclusions Among community-based heart failure patients, factors identifiable within
hours of hospital presentation predicted mortality risk at 30 days and 1 year.
The externally validated predictive index may assist clinicians in estimating
heart failure mortality risk and in providing quantitative guidance for decision
making in heart failure care.