Multimorbidity in Heart Failure: Effect on Outcomes

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To investigate the effect of the number and type of comorbid conditions on death and hospitalizations in individuals with incident heart failure (HF).


Population-based cohort study.


Olmsted County, Minnesota.


Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents with incident HF from 2000 to 2010 (mean age 76 ± 14, 56% female) (N = 1,714).


The prevalence of 16 chronic conditions obtained at HF diagnosis classified into three groups: cardiovascular (CV) related, other physical, and mental.


The mean number of conditions per participant was 2.6 ± 1.5 for CV-related conditions, 1.3 ± 1.1 for other physical conditions, and 0.30 ± 0.61 for mental conditions. After a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, 1,073 deaths and 6,306 hospitalizations had occurred. After adjustment for age, sex, ejection fraction, in- or outpatient status, and number of other conditions, an increase of one other physical condition was associated with a 14% (HR = 1.14, 95% CI = 1.08–1.20) greater risk of death and a 26% (HR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.20–1.32) greater risk of hospitalization, and an increase of one mental condition was associated with a 31% (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.19–1.44) greater risk of death and an 18% (HR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.07–1.29) greater risk of hospitalization. In contrast, an increase of one CV-related condition was not associated with greater risk of death and was associated with a 10% (HR = 1.10, 95% CI = 1.06–1.15) greater risk of hospitalization.


CV-related conditions are the most common type of comorbid conditions in individuals with HF, but other physical and mental conditions are more strongly associated with death and hospitalizations. This underscores the effect of non-CV conditions on outcomes in HF.

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