Background - Dyspnea is the most common symptom among hospitalized patients with heart failure and represents a therapeutic target. However, the association between short-term dyspnea relief and postdischarge clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) remains uncertain. Methods and Results - A post hoc analysis was performed of the Efficacy of Vasopressin Antagonism in Heart Failure: Outcome Study with Tolvaptan (EVEREST) trial, which enrolled 4133 patients within 48 hours of admission for heart failure with an ejection fraction ≤40%. Physician-assessed dyspnea was recorded on a daily basis from baseline until discharge or day 7 as none, seldom, frequent, or continuous. Patient-reported dyspnea was measured using a 7-point Likert scale, and patients experiencing moderate or marked dyspnea improvement on day 1 were classified as early responders. The Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire summary score, which ranges from 0 to 100, was collected postdischarge at week 1. The primary outcome was unfavorable HRQOL, defined a priori as a Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire score <45. Secondary outcomes included 30-day all-cause mortality, and all-cause and cause-specific hospitalizations. The final analytic cohort included 1567 patients discharged alive with complete HRQOL data. Patients were 66.0±12.7 years old and had a mean ejection fraction of 25±8%. Physician-assessed dyspnea was rated as frequent or continuous in 1399 patients (90%) at baseline, which decreased to 250 patients (16%) by discharge, whereas patient-reported early dyspnea relief was reported by 610 patients (40%). The median Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire score at week 1 was 50 (35, 65). All-cause mortality was 3.0%, and all-cause hospitalization was 20.5% within 30 days of discharge. Physician-assessed and patient-reported dyspnea was not independently associated with HRQOL, all-cause mortality, or all-cause or cause-specific hospitalization. Conclusions - In-hospital physician-assessed, and patient-reported dyspnea was not independently associated with postdischarge HRQOL, survival, or readmissions. Although dyspnea relief remains a goal of therapy for hospitalized patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, this measure may not be a reliable surrogate for long-term patient-centered or hard clinical outcomes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Circulation: Heart Failure|
|State||Published - May 1 2016|
- heart failure
- quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine