Self-rated health and mortality in patients with chronic heart failure

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AimsIn patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), there is limited information on self-rated health (SRH). We aimed to examine the distribution of SRH and whether SRH is associated with mortality in patients with stable CHF.Methods and resultsWe enrolled 100 patients (71 ± 11 years, 54% men, left ventricular ejection fraction 47 ± 11%) in a prospective study with 48 months of follow-up. Self-rated health was assessed using a seven-grade descriptive scale: very good, good, quite good, average, quite poor, poor, and very poor. Median SRH was quite poor and the most frequent SRH (31 patients) was average. During an average follow-up of 1005 ± 507 days, 58 patients died. More patients in the group that rated their health as quite poor or worse died (70% vs. 43%, P = 0.008). In a Cox proportional hazard model, SRH as a seven-grade descriptive scale [hazard ratios (HR) 1.39, 95% CI 1.10–1.74] or as a median value (HR 2.13, 95% CI 1.23–3.69) predicted mortality. The association remained significant after adjustment for patient characteristics and biomarkers (P < 0.05 for both).ConclusionIn patients with stable CHF, SRH independently predicts mortality. This suggests that SRH could be used in everyday clinical practice to obtain important prognostic information beyond clinical examination and laboratory work-up.

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