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Impact of Physical Inactivity on Mortality in Patients With Heart Failure

Published:January 18, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.12.060
      The impact of physical inactivity on heart failure (HF) mortality is unclear. We analyzed data from the HF Adherence and Retention Trial (HART) which enrolled 902 patients with New York Heart Association class II/III HF, with preserved or reduced ejection fraction, who were followed for 36 months. On the basis of mean self-reported weekly exercise duration, patients were classified into inactive (0 min/week) and active (≥1 min/week) groups and then propensity score matched according to 34 baseline covariates in 1:2 ratio. Sedentary activity was determined according to self-reported daily television screen time (<2, 2 to 4, >4 h/day). The primary outcome was all-cause death. Secondary outcomes were cardiac death and HF hospitalization. There were 196 inactive patients, of whom 171 were propensity matched to 342 active patients. Physical inactivity was associated with greater risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR] 2.01, confidence interval [CI] 1.47 to 3.00; p <0.001) and cardiac death (HR 2.01, CI 1.28 to 3.17; p = 0.002) but no significant difference in HF hospitalization (p = 0.548). Modest exercise (1 to 89 min/week) was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of death (p = 0.003) and cardiac death (p = 0.050). Independent of exercise duration and baseline covariates, television screen time (>4 vs <2 h/day) was associated with all-cause death (HR 1.65, CI 1.10 to 2.48; p = 0.016; incremental chi-square = 6.05; p = 0.049). In conclusion, in patients with symptomatic chronic HF, physical inactivity is associated with higher all-cause and cardiac mortality. Failure to exercise and television screen time are additive in their effects on mortality. Even modest exercise was associated with survival benefit.
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