Mortality rates and modes of death in heart failure patients with reduced versus preserved systolic function

Barak Zafrir, Hagar Paz, Rafael Wolff, Nabia Salman, Dina Merhavi, Basil S. Lewis, Offer Amir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: There are conflicting reports regarding the characteristics and mortality rates of heart failure patients with preserved (HFPSF) vs. reduced systolic left ventricular function (SHF). Methods: We evaluated the clinical profiles, mortality rates and modes of death in 481 consecutive symptomatic heart failure patients. In 317(66%) patients LVEF was < 40% (SHF), and in 164(34%) LVEF ≥ 40% (HFPSF). Results: Compared to the HFPSF group, SHF patients were predominantly younger males with ischemic etiology and less cardiovascular comorbidities such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and atrial fibrillation. Over a mean follow-up period of 2 years, 148(31%) patients died. Overall mortality was similar between the two groups: 53(32%) HFPSF patients and 95(30%) SHF patients died (p = 0.6), even after adjusting for baseline variables, including age, gender and comorbidities (hazard ratio 1.09; 95% confidence interval 0.74-1.61; p = 0.67). In contrast to the similar mortality rates, the modes of death were different. SHF patients had higher death rates due to pump failure compared to the HFPSF group {32/95(34%) vs. 9/53(17%) patients, p = 0.03}. A trend towards higher rate of non-cardiac death was observed in HFPSF group {33/53(62%) patients vs. 45/95(47%) patients, respectively, p = 0.08}. The prevalence of arrhythmic death was similar in both groups {17/95(18%) vs. 10/53(19%) patients, p = 0.9}. Conclusions: Although the characteristics of HFPSF and SHF patients are distinctively different, the mortality rates are similar. The mode of death is different among the two groups of patients, as pump failure death is significantly higher in SHF patients, while non-cardiac mortality is more prevalent in HFPSF patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-56
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Modes of death
  • Mortality rates
  • Preserved systolic function


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