Albumin levels predict survival in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction

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AimsLow serum albumin is common in patients with systolic heart failure and is associated with increased mortality. However, the relationship between albumin and outcome in patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is not known. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of serum albumin level on survival in patients with HFPEF.Methods and resultsWe studied 576 consecutive HFPEF patients (left ventricular ejection fraction ≥50%) admitted to our hospital from 2006 to 2009. Standard demographics, transthoracic echocardiography, and routine blood testing including albumin levels were obtained shortly after admission. Outcome was assessed at 1 year after admission. Hypoalbuminaemia (≤34 g/L) was detected in 160 (28%) at admission; and all patients were then divided into hypoalbuminaemia and non-hypoalbuminaemia groups. In the hypoalbuminaemia group, the prevalence of chronic renal failure history, serum creatinine, and urea nitrogen levels were higher when compared with those without hypoalbuminaemia (all P < 0.05). Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that patients with hypoalbuminaemia had a significantly lower survival rate (53% vs. 84%, log-rank χ2 = 53.3, P < 0.001) and a higher rate of cardiovascular death (21.8% vs. 8.9%, log-rank χ2 = 19.7, P < 0.001) when compared with those without hypoalbuminaemia. Cox regression further revealed that hypoalbuminaemia, a history of cerebrovascular disease, and older age were the most powerful independent predictors of all-cause mortality in HFPEF patients at 1 year.ConclusionsHypoalbuminaemia is common in HFPEF patients and is associated with increased risk of death. Renal dysfunction may be the main pathophysiological mechanism underlying hypoalbuminaemia in HFPEF patients.

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