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Frailty and Hospitalization Burden in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure

Published:September 22, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2022.08.013
      Frailty is associated with increased mortality and hospitalizations in patients with heart failure (HF). However, there is little evidence regarding the burden of morbidity. In this study, we aimed to assess the association between frailty and recurrent all-cause HF hospitalizations in patients with stable chronic HF. This was an observational and prospective study that enrolled HF outpatients followed in a specialized HF unit of a single tertiary care center from 2017 to 2019. Frailty was assessed by Fried criteria. Robustness, prefrailty, and frailty were defined as 0, 1 to 2, and ≥3, respectively. The independent association between frailty status and recurrent hospitalizations was assessed through Famoye's bivariate Poisson regression model, and risk estimates were expressed as incidence rate ratios (IRR). A total of 277 patients were included. The mean age was 74 ± 10 years, 118 were women (42.6%), and 131 patients (47.3%) had left ventricular ejection fraction ≥50. According to Fried's score 61 patients (22%) were robust, 95 patients (34%) were prefrail, and 121 patients (44%) were frail. After a median follow-up of 2.21 (1.6 to 2.8) years, 52 patients (19%) died. We registered 348 all-cause hospitalizations in 144 patients (52%) and 178 HF hospitalizations in 108 patients (39%). Compared with robust patients, frailty was associated with a higher risk of all-cause and HF recurrent hospitalizations in multivariable analysis (IRR 2.01, 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 3.57, p = 0.017 and IRR 2.25, 95% confidence interval 1.16−4.36, p = 0.016, respectively). In conclusion, in patients with chronic HF, frailty identifies patients with an increased risk of total and recurrent all-cause and HF hospitalizations.
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