Background Heart failure (HF) is a chronic condition with poor prognosis, and has a high prevalence among older adults. Due to older age, fragility is often present among HF patients. However, even young HF patients show a high degree of fragility. The effect of fragility on long-term prognosis in HF patients, irrespective of age, remains unexplored. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of fragility on long-term prognosis in outpatients with HF. Methods and results At least one abnormal evaluation among four standardized geriatric scales was used to identify fragility. Predefined criteria for such scales were: Barthel Index, < 90; OARS scale, < 10 in women and < 6 in men; Pfeiffer Test, > 3 (± 1, depending on educational grade); and ≥ 1 positive response for depression on the abbreviated Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). We assessed 1314 consecutive HF outpatients (27.8% women, mean age years 66.7 ± 12.4 years with different etiologies. Fragility was detected in 581 (44.2%) patients. 626 deaths occurred during follow-up; the median follow-up was 3.6 years [P25-P75: 1.8-6.7] for the total cohort, and 4.9 years [P25-P75: 2.5-8.4] for living patients. Fragility and its components were significantly associated with decreased survival by univariate analysis. In a comprehensive multivariable Cox regression analysis, fragility remained independently associated with survival in the entire cohort, and in age and left ventricular ejection fraction subgroups. Conclusion Fragility is a key determinant of survival in ambulatory patients with HF across all age strata. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Heart failure