The relationship between cholesterol and survival in patients with chronic heart failure

Mathias Rauchhaus, Andrew L. Clark, Wolfram Doehner, Constantinos Davos, Aidan Bolger, Rakesh Sharma, Andrew J. S. Coats, Stefan D. Anker

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We sought to describe the relationship between cholesterol and survival in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF).

Background: Increasing lipoprotein levels are a cardiovascular risk factor. In patients with CHF, the prognostic value of endogenous lipoproteins is not fully clarified.

Methods: A group of 114 patients with CHF recruited to a metabolic study was followed for a minimum of 12 months (derivation study). The results were applied to a second group of 303 unselected patients with CHF (validation study). The relationship between endogenous lipoproteins and survival was explored.

Results: In the derivation study, survival at 12 months was 78% (95% confidence interval [CI] 70% to 86%) and 56% (95% CI 51% to 62%) at 36 months. Increasing total serum cholesterol was a predictor of survival (hazard ratio 0.64, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.86), independent of the etiology of CHF, age, left ventricular ejection fraction, and exercise capacity. Receiver-operating characteristic curves demonstrated a best cut-off value of ≤5.2 mmol/l (200.8 mg/dl) as being the best predictor of mortality at 12 months (sensitivity 80.0%, specificity 62.9%). In the validation population, one-year survival was 88% (95% CI 84 to 91%) and three-year survival was 68% (95% CI 63 to 73%). The chance of survival increased 25% for each mmol/l increment in total cholesterol. Survival rates above and below the cut-off value for cholesterol in patients with ischemic heart disease (n = 181) were 92% (95% CI 89 to 94) versus 75% (95% CI 64 to 85%) at one year and 72% (95% CI 67 to 76%) versus 50% (95% CI 43 to 56%) at three years.

Conclusions: In patients with CHF, lower serum total cholesterol is independently associated with a worse prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1940
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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