Weight loss in obese patients with heart failure

Elisabet Zamora, Carles Díez-López, Josep Lupón, Marta de Antonio, Mar Domingo, Javier Santesmases, María Isabel Troya, Crisanto Díez-Quevedo, Salvador Altimir, Antoni Bayes-Genis

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© 2016 The Authors. Background--In heart failure (HF), weight loss (WL) has been associated with an adverse prognosis whereas obesity has been linked to lower mortality (the obesity paradox). The impact of WL in obese patients with HF is incompletely understood. Our objective was to explore the prevalence of WL and its impact on long-term mortality, with an emphasis on obese patients, in a cohort of patients with chronic HF. Methods and Results--Weight at first visit and the 1-year follow-up and vital status after 3 years were assessed in 1000 consecutive ambulatory, chronic HF patients (72.7% men; mean age 65.8±12.1 years). Significant WL was defined as a loss of ≥5% weight between baseline and 1 year. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m2 (N=272). Of the 1000 patients included, 170 experienced significant WL during the first year of follow-up. Mortality was significantly higher in patients with significant WL (27.6% versus 15.3%, P<0.001). In univariable Cox regression analysis, patients with significant WL had 2-fold higher mortality (hazard ratio 1.95 [95% CI 1.39-2.72], P<0.001). In multivariable analysis, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, New York Heart Association functional class, left ventricular ejection fraction, HF duration, ischemic etiology, diabetes, and treatment, significant WL remained independently associated with higher mortality (hazard ratio 1.89 [95% CI 1.32-2.68], P<0.001). Among obese patients with HF, significant WL was associated with an even more ominous prognosis (adjusted hazard ratio for death of 2.38 [95% CI 1.31-4.32], P=0.004) than that observed in nonobese patients (adjusted hazard ratio 1.83 [95% CI 1.16-2.89], P=0.01). Conclusions--Weight loss ≥5% in patients with chronic HF was associated with high long-term mortality, particularly among obese patients with HF.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002468
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Cachexia
  • Heart failure
  • Mortality
  • Obesity
  • Weight


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