Publications by authors named "Maria Schaufelberger"

73 Publications

Increasing home-time after a first diagnosis of heart failure in Sweden, 20 years trends.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Nov 27. Epub 2021 Nov 27.

Region Västra Götaland, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: This study was performed to compare trends in home-time for patients with heart failure (HF) between those of working age and those of retirement age in Sweden from 1992 to 2012.

Methods And Results: The National Inpatient Register (IPR) was used to identify all patients aged 18 to 84 years with a first hospitalization for HF in Sweden from 1992 to 2012. Information on date of death, comorbidities, and sociodemographic factors were collected from the Swedish National Register on Cause of Death, the IPR, and the longitudinal integration database for health insurance and labour market studies, respectively. The patients were divided into two groups according to their age: working age (<65 years) and retirement age (≥65 years). Follow-up was 4 years. In total, following exclusions, 388 775 patients aged 18 to 84 years who were alive 1 day after discharge from a first hospitalization for HF were included in the study. The working age group comprised 62 428 (16%) patients with a median age of 58 (interquartile range, 53-62) years and 31.2% women, and the retirement age group comprised 326 347 (84%) patients with a median age of 77 (interquartile range, 73-81) years and 47.4% women. Patients of working age had more home-time than patients of retirement age (83.8% vs. 68.2%, respectively), mainly because of their lower 4 year mortality rate (14.2% vs. 29.7%, respectively). Home-time increased over the study period for both age groups, but the increase levelled off for older women after 2007, most likely because of less reduction in mortality in older women than in the other groups.

Conclusions: This nationwide study showed increasing home-time over the study period except for women of retirement age and older for whom the increase stalled after 2007, mainly because of a lower mortality reduction in this group. Efforts to improve patient-related outcome measures specifically targeted to this group may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13714DOI Listing
November 2021

Trends in survival of Swedish men and women with heart failure from 1987 to 2014: a population-based case-control study.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 Nov 16. Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Diagnosvägen 11, Gothenburg, 41650, Sweden.

Aims: To compare trends in short-term and long-term survival of patients with heart failure (HF) compared with controls from the general population.

Methods And Results: We used data from the Swedish National Inpatient Registry to identify all patients aged ≥18 years with a first recorded diagnosis of HF between 1 January 1987 and 31 December 2014 and compared them with controls matched on age and sex from the Total Population Register. We included 702 485 patients with HF and 1 306 183 controls. In patients with HF aged 18-64 years, short-term (29 days to 6 months) and long-term mortality (>11 years) decreased from 166 and 76.6 per 1000 person-years in 1987 to 2000 to 99.6 and 49.4 per 1000 person-years, respectively, in 2001 to 2014. During the same period, mortality improved marginally, in those aged ≥65 years: short-time mortality from 368.8 to 326.2 per 1000 person-years and long-term mortality from 219.6 to 193.9 per 1000 person-years. In 1987-2000, patients aged <65 years had more than three times higher risk of dying at 29 days to 6 months, with an hazard ratio (HR) of 3.66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.46-3.87], compared with controls (P < 0.0001) but substantially higher in 2001-2014 with an HR of 11.3 (95% CI 9.99-12.7, P < 0.0001). HRs for long-term mortality (6-10 and >11 years) increased moderately from 2.49 (95% CI 2.41-2.57) and 3.16 (95% CI 3.07-3.24) in 1987-2000 to 4.35 (95% CI 4.09-4.63) and 4.11 (95% CI 3.49-4.85) in 2001-2014, largely because survival among controls improved more than that among patients with HF (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Absolute survival improved in HF patients aged <65 years, but only marginally so in those aged ≥65 years. Compared with controls, both short-term and long-term relative risk of dying increased, especially in younger patients with HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13720DOI Listing
November 2021

Hospital readmissions of patients with heart failure from real world: timing and associated risk factors.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 04 17;8(2):1388-1397. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: This study aims to investigate hospital readmissions and timing, as well as risk factors in a real world heart failure (HF) population.

Methods And Results: All patients discharged alive in 2016 from Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Gothenburg, Sweden, with a primary diagnosis of HF were consecutively included. Patient characteristics, type of HF, treatment, and follow-up were registered. Time to first all-cause or HF readmission, as well as number of 1 year readmissions from discharge were recorded. In total, 448 patients were included: 273 patients (mean age 78 ± 11.8 years) were readmitted for any cause within 1 year (readmission rate of 60.9%), and 175 patients (mean age 76.6 ± 13.7) were never readmitted. Among readmissions, 60.1% occurred during the first quarter after index hospitalization, giving a 3 month all-cause readmission rate of 36.6%. HF-related 1 year readmission rate was 38.4%. Patients who were readmitted had significantly more renal dysfunction (52.4% vs. 36.6%, P = 0.001), pulmonary disease (25.6% vs. 15.4%, P = 0.010), and psychiatric illness (24.9% vs. 12.0%, P = 0.001). Number of co-morbidities and readmissions were significantly associated (P < 0.001 for all cause readmission rate and P = 0.012 for 1 year HF readmission rate). Worsening HF constituted 63% of all-cause readmissions. Psychiatric disease was an independent risk factor for 1 month and 1 year all-cause readmissions. Poor compliance to medication was an independent risk factor for 1 month and 1 year HF readmission.

Conclusions: In our real world cohort of HF patients, frequent hospital readmissions occurred in the early post-discharge period and were mainly driven by worsening HF. Co-morbidity was one of the most important factors for readmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006673PMC
April 2021

Risk of stroke in patients with heart failure and sinus rhythm: data from the Swedish Heart Failure Registry.

ESC Heart Fail 2021 02 9;8(1):85-94. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Sahlgrenska Academy, Cardiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Östra Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: We investigated the 2 year rate of ischaemic stroke/transient ischaemic attack (IS) in patients with heart failure (HF) who were in sinus rhythm (HF-SR) and aimed to develop a score for stratifying risk of IS in this population.

Methods And Results: A total of 15 425 patients (mean age 71.5 years, 39% women) with HF-SR enrolled in the Swedish Heart Failure Register were included; 28 815 age-matched and sex-matched controls, without a registered diagnosis of HF, were selected from the Swedish Population Register. The 2 year rate of IS was 3.0% in patients and 1.4% in controls. In the patient group, a risk score including age (1p for 65-74 years; 2p for 75-84 years; 3p for ≥85 years), previous IS (2p), ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, kidney dysfunction, and New York Heart Association III/IV class (1p each) was generated. Over a mean follow-up of 20.1 (SD 7.5) months, the cumulative incidences (per 1000 person-years) of IS in patients with score 0 to ≥7 were 2.2, 5.3, 8.9, 13.2, 15.7, 20.4, 26.4, and 33.0, with hazard ratios for score 1 to ≥7 (with 0 as reference): 2.4, 4.1, 6.1, 7.2, 9.4, 12.2, and 15.3. The risk score performed modestly (area under the curve 63.7%; P = 0.4711 for lack of fit with a logistic model; P = 0.7062 with Poisson, scaled by deviance).

Conclusions: In terms of absolute risk, only 27.6% of patients had an annual IS incidence of ≤1%. To which extent this would be amenable to anticoagulant treatment remains conjectural. A score compiling age and specific co-morbidities identified HF-SR patients with increased risk of IS with modest discriminative ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.13091DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7835566PMC
February 2021

Increased arterial stiffness and reduced left ventricular long-axis function in patients recovered from peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 2021 Jan 6;41(1):95-102. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is idiopathic pregnancy-associated heart failure (HF) with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). We aimed to assess arterial stiffness and left ventricular (LV) function in women recovered from PPCM compared with controls.

Methods: Twenty-two PPCM patients were compared with 15 age-matched controls with previous uncomplicated pregnancies. Eleven of the patients were at inclusion in the study recovered and off medication since at least 6 months and still free from cardiovascular symptoms with normal LVEF and normal NT-proBNP. All underwent echocardiography, including LV strain, left atrial (LA) reservoir strain and tissue Doppler early diastolic velocity (e´) and non-invasive assessment for arterial stiffness and central aortic systolic blood pressure (AoBP) at rest and immediately postexercise.

Results: The patients off medication showed alterations compared with controls. AoBP was higher (120 ± 9 mm Hg vs. 104 ± 13 mm Hg; p = .001), a difference which persisted postexercise. The arterial elastance was higher (1.9 ± 0.4 mm Hg/ml vs. 1.3 ± 0.2 mm Hg/ml; p < .001), while there were lower e´ septal (8.9 ± 1.7 cm/s vs. 11.0 ± 1.1 cm/s; p = 0. 002), LV global strain (18.7 ± 3.9% vs. 23.1 ± 1.6%; p = .004) and LA reservoir strain (24.8 ± 9.1% vs. 37.7 ± 6.3%; p = .002).

Conclusions: Compared with healthy controls, PPCM patients considered recovered and off medication had increased arterial stiffness, decreased LV longitudinal function and reduced LA function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpf.12671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756804PMC
January 2021

Clinical presentation, management, and 6-month outcomes in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy: an ESC EORP registry.

Eur Heart J 2020 10;41(39):3787-3797

Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Aims: We sought to describe the clinical presentation, management, and 6-month outcomes in women with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) globally.

Methods And Results: In 2011, >100 national and affiliated member cardiac societies of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) were contacted to contribute to a global registry on PPCM, under the auspices of the ESC EURObservational Research Programme. These societies were tasked with identifying centres who could participate in this registry. In low-income countries, e.g. Mozambique or Burkina Faso, where there are no national societies due to a shortage of cardiologists, we identified potential participants through abstracts and publications and encouraged participation into the study. Seven hundred and thirty-nine women were enrolled in 49 countries in Europe (33%), Africa (29%), Asia-Pacific (15%), and the Middle East (22%). Mean age was 31 ± 6 years, mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 31 ± 10%, and 10% had a previous pregnancy complicated by PPCM. Symptom-onset occurred most often within 1 month of delivery (44%). At diagnosis, 67% of patients had severe (NYHA III/IV) symptoms and 67% had a LVEF ≤35%. Fifteen percent received bromocriptine with significant regional variation (Europe 15%, Africa 26%, Asia-Pacific 8%, the Middle East 4%, P < 0.001). Follow-up was available for 598 (81%) women. Six-month mortality was 6% overall, lowest in Europe (4%), and highest in the Middle East (10%). Most deaths were due to heart failure (42%) or sudden (30%). Re-admission for any reason occurred in 10% (with just over half of these for heart failure) and thromboembolic events in 7%. Myocardial recovery (LVEF > 50%) occurred only in 46%, most commonly in Asia-Pacific (62%), and least commonly in the Middle East (25%). Neonatal death occurred in 5% with marked regional variation (Europe 2%, the Middle East 9%).

Conclusion: Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a global disease, but clinical presentation and outcomes vary by region. Just under half of women experience myocardial recovery. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a disease with substantial maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehaa455DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7846090PMC
October 2020

Young patients with heart failure: clinical characteristics and outcomes. Data from the Swedish Heart Failure, National Patient, Population and Cause of Death Registers.

Eur J Heart Fail 2020 07 3;22(7):1125-1132. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: The prevalence and hospitalizations of patients with heart failure (HF) aged <55 years have increased in Sweden during the last decades. We aimed to compare characteristics of younger and older patients with HF, and examine survival in patients <55 years compared with matched controls.

Methods And Results: All patients ≥18 years in the Swedish Heart Failure Register from 2003 to 2014 were included. Data were merged with National Patient and Cause of Death Registers. Among 60 962 patients, 3752 (6.2%) were <55 years, and were compared with 7425 controls from the Population Register. Compared with patients ≥55 years, patients <55 years more frequently had registered diagnoses of obesity, dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and an ejection fraction <40% (9.8% vs. 4.7%, 27.2% vs. 5.5%, 3.7% vs. 0.8%, 67.9% vs. 45.1%, respectively; all P < 0.001). One-year all-cause mortality was 21.2%, 4.2%, and 0.3% in patients ≥55 years, patients <55 years, and controls <55 years, respectively (all P < 0.001). Patients <55 years had a five times higher mortality risk compared with controls [hazard ratio (HR) 5.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.45-6.74]; the highest HR was in patients 18-34 years (HR 38.3, 95% CI 8.70-169; both P < 0.001). At the age of 20, the estimated life-years lost was up to 36 years for 50% of patients, with declining estimates with increasing age.

Conclusion: Patients with HF <55 years had different comorbidities than patients ≥55 years. The highest mortality risk relative to that of controls was among the youngest patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1952DOI Listing
July 2020

Elevated resting heart rate in adolescent men and risk of heart failure and cardiomyopathy.

ESC Heart Fail 2020 06 28;7(3):1178-1185. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE 416 85, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: This study aims to investigate the association of resting heart rate (RHR) measured in late adolescence with long-term risk of cause-specific heart failure (HF) and subtypes of cardiomyopathy (CM), with special attention to cardiorespiratory fitness.

Methods And Results: We performed a nation-wide, register-based cohort study of all Swedish men enrolled for conscription in 1968-2005 (n = 1 008 363; mean age = 18.3 years). RHR and arterial blood pressure were measured together with anthropometrics as part of the enlistment protocol. HF and its concomitant diagnoses, as well as all CM diagnoses, were collected from the national inpatient, outpatient, and cause of death registries. Risk estimates were calculated by Cox-proportional hazards models while adjusting for potential confounders. During follow-up, there were 8400 cases of first hospitalization for HF and 3377 for CM. Comparing the first and fifth quintiles of the RHR distribution, the hazard ratio (HR) for HF associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension was 1.25 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13-1.38] after adjustment for body mass index, blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness. The corresponding HR was 1.43 (CI = 1.08-1.90) for HF associated with CM and 1.34 (CI = 1.16-1.54) for HF without concomitant diagnosis. There was an association between RHR and dilated CM [HR = 1.47 (CI = 1.27-1.71)] but not hypertrophic, alcohol/drug-induced, or other cardiomyopathies.

Conclusions: Adolescent RHR is associated with future risk of HF, regardless of associated aetiological condition. The association was strongest for HF associated with CM, driven by the association with dilated CM. These findings indicate a causal pathway between elevated RHR and myocardial dysfunction that warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261526PMC
June 2020

Body Mass Index in Young Women and Risk of Cardiomyopathy: A Long-Term Follow-Up Study in Sweden.

Circulation 2020 02 17;141(7):520-529. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

School of Public Health and Community Medicine/Primary Health Care (J.R., M.Å.), Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Incidence rates of cardiomyopathies, which are a common cause of heart failure in young people, have increased during the last decades. An association between body weight in adolescence and future cardiomyopathy among men was recently identified. Whether or not this holds true also for women is unknown. The aim was therefore to determine whether for young women being overweight or obese is associated with a higher risk of developing cardiomyopathy.

Methods: This was a registry-based national prospective cohort study with data collected from the Swedish Medical Birth Register, 1982 to 2014, with up to 33 years of follow-up. Included women were of childbearing age (18-45 years) during the initial antenatal visit in their first or second pregnancy (n=1 393 346). We obtained baseline data on body mass index (BMI), smoking, education, and previous disorders. After exclusions, mainly because of previous disorders, the final sample was composed of 1 388 571 women. Cardiomyopathy cases were identified by linking the Medical Birth Register to the National Patient and Cause of Death registers.

Results: In total, we identified 1699 cases of cardiomyopathy (mean age at diagnosis, 46.2 [SD 9.1] years) during the follow-up with an incidence rate of 5.9 per 100 000 observation years. Of these, 481 were diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, 246 had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 61 had alcohol/drug-induced cardiomyopathy, and 509 had other forms. The lowest risk for being diagnosed with a cardiomyopathy was detected at a BMI of 21 kg/m, with a gradual increase in risk with higher BMI, particularly for dilated cardiomyopathy, where a hazard ratio of 4.71 (95% CI, 2.81-7.89) was found for severely obese subjects (BMI ≥35 kg/m), as compared with BMI 20 to <22.5.

Conclusions: Elevated BMI among young women was associated with an increased risk of being diagnosed with a subsequent cardiomyopathy, especially dilated cardiomyopathy, starting already at mildly elevated body weight, whereas severe obesity entailed an almost 5-fold increase in risk. With the increasing numbers of persons who are overweight or obese, higher rates of cardiomyopathy can be expected in the future, along with an altered disease burden related to adiposity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.044056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017947PMC
February 2020

Validity of heart failure diagnoses made in 2000-2012 in western Sweden.

ESC Heart Fail 2020 02 23;7(1):36-45. Epub 2019 Dec 23.

Emergency and Cardiovascular Medicine Section, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: The aim of this study is to validate a diagnosis of heart failure (HF) according to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines among patients hospitalized at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, between 2000 and 2012.

Methods And Results: In Sweden, it is mandatory to report all hospital discharge diagnoses to the Swedish national inpatient register. In total, 27 517 patients were diagnosed with HF at the Sahlgrenska University hospital between 2000 and 2012. Altogether, 1100 records with a primary (n = 550) or contributory (n = 550) diagnosis of HF were randomly selected. The diagnosis was validated according to the ESC guidelines from 1995, 2001, 2005, and 2008, and cases were divided into three groups: definite, probable, and miscoded. In total, 965 cases were validated, while 135 records were excluded for various reasons. Of the 965 records, the diagnosis was validated as definite in 601 (62.3%) and as probable in 310 (32.1%); only 54 (5.6%) of cases had been miscoded. Echocardiography, as an objective evidence of cardiac dysfunction, had been performed in 581 (96.7%) of the definite, 106 (34.2%) of the probable, and 31 (57.4%) of the miscoded cases. Among the probable cases, the main reason they had not been classified as a definitive diagnosis of HF was lack of examination by echocardiography (63.8%).

Conclusions: The overall validity of HF diagnosis at Sahlgrenska University Hospital is high. This may reflect a high diagnostic validity at the time of diagnosis in the national Swedish patient register, supporting the continued use of this register in epidemiological research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12519DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7083397PMC
February 2020

Increased Cancer Prevalence in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy.

JACC CardioOncol 2019 Dec 17;1(2):196-205. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Objectives: This study was designed to analyze the prevalence and potential genetic basis of cancer and heart failure in peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM).

Background: PPCM manifests as heart failure late in pregnancy or postpartum in women without previous heart disease.

Methods: Clinical history and cancer prevalence were evaluated in a cohort of 236 PPCM patients from Germany and Sweden. Exome sequencing assessed variants in 133 genes associated with cancer predisposition syndromes (CPS) and in 115 genes associated with dilated/hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (DCM/HCM) in 14 PPCM patients with a history of cancer, and in 6 PPCM patients without a history of cancer.

Results: The prevalence of cancer was 16-fold higher (8.9%, 21 of 236 patients) in PPCM patients compared to age-matched women (German cancer registry, Robert-Koch-Institute: 0.59%; p < 0.001). Cancer before PPCM occurred in 12 of 21 patients of whom 11 obtained cardiotoxic cancer therapies. Of those, 17% fully recovered cardiac function by 7 ± 2 months of follow-up compared to 55% of PPCM patients without cancer (p = 0.015). Cancer occurred after PPCM in 10 of 21 patients; 80% had left ventricular ejection fraction of ≥50% after cancer therapy. Whole-exome sequencing in 14 PPCM patients with cancer revealed that 43% (6 of 14 patients) carried likely pathogenic (Class IV) or pathogenic (Class V) gene variants associated with DCM/HCM in CPT2, DSP, MYH7, TTN, and/or with CPS in ATM, ERCC5, NBN, RECQL4, and SLX4. All CPS variants affected DNA damage response genes.

Conclusions: Cardiotoxic cancer therapy before PPCM is associated with delayed full recovery. The high cancer prevalence in PPCM is linked to likely pathogenic/pathogenic gene variants associated with DCM/HCM and/or CPS/DNA damage response-related cancer risk. This may warrant genetic testing and screening for heart failure in pregnant women with a cancer history and screening for cancer in PPCM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2019.09.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8352111PMC
December 2019

The eligible population of the PARADIGM-HF trial in a real-world outpatient clinic and its cardiovascular risk between 2005 and 2016.

J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) 2020 Jan;21(1):6-12

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: The PARADIGM-HF trial showed that sacubitril-valsartan - an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) - is more effective than enalapril for some patients with heart failure. However, the eligibility of the PARADIGM-HF study to a real-world heart failure population was not well established.

Methods: We made secondary analysis of patients (n = 4872) with heart failure prospectively enrolled in the Swedish Heart Failure Registry from Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra Hospital, Sweden during 2005-2016. The eligibility of the PARADIGM-HF trial in the real world was studied based on patients whether they were either fully or partially compatible with the PARADIGM-HF population. Patients were judged to be fully eligible for the PARADIGM-HF trial if they completely met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and partially eligible if they did not stay on target dose of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI)/angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), despite their having been treated with ACEI/ARB for at least 6 months.

Results: Among patients who had heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (≤40%) (HFrEF) (n = 2165), 653 (30%) and 958 (44%) patients were fully and partially compatible with PARADIGM-HF criteria, respectively. In both fully and partially eligible groups, patients were more male. Despite those fully eligible patients being younger (77.6 ± 12.7 vs. 84.0 ± 13.7 years) than noneligible patients, they were much older than in the PARADIGM-HF trial. Moreover, those fully eligible patients had lower all-cause mortality compared with both partially and noneligible patients. However, both fully and partially eligible patients had higher all-cause mortality than that in the PARADIGM-HF trial.

Conclusion: In a real-world outpatient clinical setting, around 1/3-1/2 of HFrEF were eligible for treatment of Sac/Val except that they are older, sicker, and carry higher risk for all-cause mortality than the PARADIGM-HF trial population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2459/JCM.0000000000000889DOI Listing
January 2020

Body mass index in women aged 18 to 45 and subsequent risk of heart failure.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2020 07 5;27(11):1165-1174. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: The incidence of heart failure (HF) is decreasing in older ages, but increasing rates have been observed among younger persons in Sweden. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between risk of hospitalization for HF and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: This was a prospective registry-based cohort study. We included 1,374,031 women aged 18-45 years (mean age 27.9 years) who gave birth during 1982-2014, and were registered in the Medical Birth Register. Information on hospitalization because of HF was collected through linkage to the National Inpatient Register.

Results: Compared to women with a BMI of 20-<22.5 kg/m, women with a BMI of 22.5-<25.0 had a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.24 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.10-1.39) for HF after adjustment for age, year, parity, baseline disorders, smoking, and education. The HR (95% CI) increased to 1.56 (1.36-1.78), 2.39 (2.05-2.78), 2.82 (2.43-3.28), and 4.51 (3.63-5.61) in women with a BMI of 25-<27.5, 27.5-<30, 30-<35, and ≥35 kg/m, respectively. The multiple-adjusted HRs (95% CI) associated with risk of HF per one-unit increase in BMI in women with a BMI ≥ 22.5 kg/m ranged from 1.01 (0.97-1.06) for HF related to valvular disease to 1.14 (1.12-1.15) for coronary heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension.

Conclusion: Increasing body weight was strongly associated with the risk of early HF in women. Compared with lean women, the risk for HF started to increase at high-normal BMI levels, and was nearly five-fold in women with a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487319882510DOI Listing
July 2020

Factors influencing long-term heart failure mortality in patients with obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Western Sweden: probable dose-related protection from beta-blocker therapy.

Open Heart 2019;6(1):e000963. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Pediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Objective: In order to avoid effects of referral bias, we assessed risk factors for disease-related mortality in a geographical cohort of patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM), and any therapy effect on survival.

Methods: Diagnostic databases in 10 hospitals in the West Götaland Region yielded 251 adult patients with HOCM (128 male, 123 female). Case notes were reviewed for clinical data and ECG and ultrasound findings. Beta-blockers were used in 71.3% of patients from diagnosis (median metoprolol-equivalent dose of 125 mg/day), and at latest follow-up in 86.1%; 121 patients had medical therapy alone, 88 short atrioventricular delay pacing and 42 surgical myectomy. Mean follow-up was 14.4±8.9 (mean±SD) years. Primary endpoint was disease-related death, and secondary endpoint heart failure deaths.

Results: There were 65 primary endpoint events. Independent risk factors for disease-related death on multivariate Cox hazard regression were: female sex (p=0.005), age at diagnosis (p<0.001), outflow gradient ≥50 mm Hg at diagnosis (p=0.036) and at follow-up (p=0.001). Heart failure caused 62% of deaths, and sudden cardiac death 17%. Late independent predictors of heart failure death were: female sex (p=0.003), outflow gradient ≥50 mm Hg at latest follow-up (p=0.032), verapamil/diltiazem therapy (p=0.012) and coexisting hypertension (p=0.031), but not other comorbidities. Neither myectomy nor pacing modified survival, but early and maintained beta-blocker therapy was associated with dose-dependent reduction in disease-related mortality in the multivariate model (p=0.028), and final dose was also associated with reduced heart failure mortality (p=0.008). Kaplan-Meier survival curves analysed in initial dose bands of 0-74, 75-149 and ≥150 mg metoprolol/day showed 10-year freedom from disease-related deaths of 83.1%, 90.7% and 97.0%, respectively (p=0.00008). Even after successful relief of outflow obstruction by intervention, there was survival benefit of metoprolol doses ≥100 mg/day (p=0.01).

Conclusions: In population-based HOCM cohorts heart failure is a dominant cause of death and on multivariate analysis beta-blocker therapy was associated with a dose-dependent cardioprotective effect on total, disease-related as well as heart failure-related mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2018-000963DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6609122PMC
February 2021

Cardiomyopathy and pregnancy.

Heart 2019 10 15;105(20):1543-1551. Epub 2019 Jul 15.

Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Cardiomyopathy is a group of disorders in which the heart muscle is structurally and functionally abnormal in the absence of other diseases that could cause observed myocardial abnormality. The most common cardiomyopathies are hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy. Rare types are arrhythmogenic right ventricular, restrictive, Takotsubo and left ventricular non-compaction cardiomyopathies. This review of cardiomyopathies in pregnancy shows that peripartum cardiomyopathy is the most common cardiomyopathy in pregnancy. Peripartum cardiomyopathy develops most frequently in the month before or after partum, whereas dilated cardiomyopathy often is known already or develops in the second trimester. Mortality in peripartum cardiomyopathy varies from <2% to 50%. Few reports on dilated cardiomyopathy and pregnancy exist, with only a limited number of patients. Ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure, stroke and death are found in 39%-60% of high-risk patients. However, patients with modest left ventricular dysfunction and good functional class tolerated pregnancy well. Previous studies on >700 pregnancies in 500 women with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy showed that prognosis was generally good, even though three deaths were reported in high-risk patients. Complications include different types of supraventricular and ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure and ischaemic stroke. Recent studies on 200 pregnancies in 100 women with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy have reported symptoms, including heart failure in 18%-33% of pregnancies. Ventricular tachycardia was found in 0%-33% of patients and syncope in one patient. Information on rare cardiomyopathies is sparse and only presented in case reports. Close monitoring by multidisciplinary teams in referral centres that counsel patients before conception and follow them throughout gestation is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2018-313476DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6839719PMC
October 2019

Higher Body Mass Index in Adolescence Predicts Cardiomyopathy Risk in Midlife.

Circulation 2019 07 28;140(2):117-125. Epub 2019 May 28.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine (M.S., M.L., M.A., A.R.), Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Modifiable lifestyle factors in relation to risk for cardiomyopathy, a common and increasing cause of heart failure in the young, have not been widely studied. We sought to investigate a potential link between obesity, a recognized predictor of early heart failure, in adolescence and being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in adulthood.

Methods: This was a nationwide register-based prospective cohort study of 1 668 893 adolescent men (mean age, 18.3 years; SD, 0.7 years) who enlisted for compulsory military service from 1969 to 2005. At baseline, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and medical disorders were registered, along with test results for fitness and muscle strength. Cardiomyopathy diagnoses were identified from the National Hospital Register and Cause of Death Register during an up to 46-year follow-up and divided into categories: dilated, hypertrophic, alcohol/drug-induced, and other. Hazard ratios were calculated with Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: During follow-up (median, 27 years; Q1-Q3, 19-35 years), 4477 cases of cardiomyopathy were identified, of which 2631 (59%) were dilated, 673 (15%) were hypertrophic, and 480 (11%) were alcohol/drug-induced. Increasing BMI was strongly associated with elevated risk of cardiomyopathy, especially dilated, starting at levels considered normal (BMI, 22.5-<25 kg/m; hazard ratio, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.22-1.57]), adjusted for age, year, center, and baseline comorbidities, and with a >8-fold increased risk at BMI ≥35 kg/m compared with BMI of 18.5 to <20 kg/m. For each 1-unit increase in BMI, similarly adjusted hazard ratios were 1.15 (95% CI, 1.14-1.17) for dilated cardiomyopathy, 1.09 (95% CI, 1.06-1.12) for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and 1.10 (1.06-1.13) for alcohol/drug-induced cardiomyopathy.

Conclusions: Even mildly elevated body weight in late adolescence may contribute to being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in adulthood. The already marked importance of weight control in youth is further strengthened by these findings, as well as greater evidence for obesity as a potential important cause of adverse cardiac remodeling that is independent of clinically evident ischemic heart disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.039132DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6635044PMC
July 2019

Non-cardiac comorbidities and mortality in patients with heart failure with reduced vs. preserved ejection fraction: a study using the Swedish Heart Failure Registry.

Clin Res Cardiol 2019 Sep 20;108(9):1025-1033. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 416 85, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Heart failure (HF) and non-cardiac comorbidities often coexist and are known to have an adverse effect on outcome. However, the prevalence and prognostic impact of non-cardiac comorbidities in patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) vs. those with preserved (HFpEF) remain inadequately studied.

Methods And Results: We used data from the Swedish Heart Failure Registry from 2000 to 2012. HFrEF was defined as EF < 50% and HFpEF as EF ≥ 50%. Of 31 344 patients available for analysis, 79.3% (n = 24 856) had HFrEF and 20.7% (n = 6 488) HFpEF. The outcome was all-cause mortality. We examined the association between ten non-cardiac comorbidities and mortality and its interaction with EF using adjusted hazard ratio (HR). Stroke, anemia, gout and cancer had a similar impact on mortality in both phenotypes, whereas diabetes (HR 1.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.50-1.65] vs. HR 1.39 95% CI [1.27-1.51], p = 0.0002), renal failure (HR 1.65, 95% CI [1.57-1.73] vs. HR 1.44, 95% CI [1.32-1.57], p = 0.003) and liver disease (HR 2.13, 95% CI [1.83-2.47] vs. HR 1.42, 95% CI [1.09-1.85] p = 0.02) had a higher impact in the HFrEF patients. Moreover, pulmonary disease (HR 1.46, 95% CI [1.40-1.53] vs. HR 1.66 95% CI [1.54-1.80], p = 0.007) was more prominent in the HFpEF patients. Sleep apnea was not associated with worse prognosis in either group. No significant variation was found in the impact over the 12-year study period.

Conclusions: Non-cardiac comorbidities contribute significantly but differently to mortality, both in HFrEF and HFpEF. No significant variation was found in the impact over the 12-year study period. These results emphasize the importance of including the management of comorbidities as a part of a standardized heart failure care in both HF phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00392-019-01430-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6694087PMC
September 2019

Fathers' reactions over their partner's diagnosis of peripartum cardiomyopathy: A qualitative interview study.

Midwifery 2019 Apr 2;71:42-48. Epub 2019 Jan 2.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

Background: Fathers' experience of childbirth has been described as both distressing and wonderful, but little has been described in the literature about fathers´ reactions when their partners get life threatening diagnoses such as peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) during the peripartum period.

Aim: To learn more about fathers' reactions over their partner's diagnosis of peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Methods: Fourteen fathers, whose partner was diagnosed with PPCM before or after giving birth, were interviewed. Data were analysed using inductive content analysis technique.

Results: The first reaction in fathers was shock when they heard their partner had PPCM, which was sudden, terrible and overwhelming news. Their reactions to trauma are described in the main category: The appalling diagnosis gave a new perspective on life with emotional sub-categories: overwhelmed by fear, distressing uncertainty in the situation and for the future, feeling helpless but have to be strong, disappointment and frustration, and relief and acceptance. Although terrified, fathers expressed gratitude towards health care professionals for the diagnosis that made it possible to initiate adequate treatment.

Conclusion: Exploring father's reactions will help peripartum and cardiology healthcare professionals to understand that emotional support for fathers is equally important as the support required for mothers during the peripartum period. Specifically they will help professionals to focus on future efforts in understanding and meeting the supportive care needs of fathers when their partner suffers from a life-threatening diagnosis like PPCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2019.01.001DOI Listing
April 2019

Decrease in loop diuretic treatment from 2005 to 2014 in Swedish real-life patients with chronic heart failure.

Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2019 Feb 15;75(2):247-254. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Department of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy/University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Purpose: Loop diuretics are recommended to treat congestive symptoms in patients with heart failure. However, observational studies have indicated that loop diuretic treatment in heart failure is associated with increased mortality. Therefore, loop diuretic discontinuation or dose reduction, when clinically possible, is recommended. Our aim was to study nationwide temporal trends in loop diuretic treatment from 2005 to 2014 in real-life patients with chronic heart failure.

Methods: Data from the nationwide Swedish National Patient, Prescribed Drug and Cause of Death Registers were linked. The annual proportions of patients with chronic heart failure treated with loop diuretics from 2005 to 2014 were calculated. In addition, the annual median loop diuretic doses (DDD) in patients with chronic heart failure treated with loop diuretics from 2005 to 2014 were calculated.

Results: The proportion of real-life patients with chronic heart failure treated with loop diuretics decreased from 73.2% in 2005 to 65.7% in 2014 (p for trend < 0.001). The median loop diuretic DDD in real-life patients with chronic heart failure decreased from 2.13 (IQR 1.09-2.77) in 2005 to 1.63 (IQR 1.09-2.25) in 2014 (p = 0.001 for trend).

Conclusions: Loop diuretic treatment decreased from 2005 to 2014 in real-life patients with chronic heart failure. The prognostic impact of changes in loop diuretic treatment in patients with heart failure remains unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00228-018-2574-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6348069PMC
February 2019

Fathers' experiences of care when their partners suffer from peripartum cardiomyopathy: a qualitative interview study.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2018 Aug 13;18(1):330. Epub 2018 Aug 13.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a potentially life-threatening condition in women, can have a profound impact on the family. Although structured support systems are developed, these systems tend to be based on the healthcare providers' perceptions and focus mainly on mothers' care. Fathers' vital role in supporting their partners has been advocated in previous research. However, the impact of PPCM on the male partners of women is less understood. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of healthcare in fathers whose partner was suffering from peripartum cardiomyopathy.

Methods: The data from interviews with fourteen fathers were analysed using inductive content analysis.

Results: An overarching category "The professionals could have made a difference" was identified from the data, characterised by the sub-categories: 'To be informed/not informed,' 'To feel secure/insecure,' 'To feel visible/invisible' and 'Wish that it had been different'. Lack of timely information did not allow fathers to understand their partner´s distress, and plan for the future. The birth of the child was an exciting experience, but a feeling of helplessness was central, related to seeing their partner suffering. A desire for follow-up regarding the effect of PPCM on themselves was expressed.

Conclusions: When men, as partners of women with PPCM, get adequate information of their partner´s condition, they gain a sense of security and control that gives them strength to handle their personal and emotional life-situation during the transition of becoming a father, along with taking care of an ill partner with PPCM. Hence, maternity professionals should also focus on fathers' particular needs to help them fulfil their roles. Further research is urgently required in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-1968-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6090783PMC
August 2018

Resting heart rate in late adolescence and long term risk of cardiovascular disease in Swedish men.

Int J Cardiol 2018 05;259:109-115

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, SE 416 85 Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aim: To investigate the association of resting heart rate (RHR) measured in late adolescence with the long term risk of myocardial infarction (MI), ischemic stroke (IS), heart failure (HF), atrial fibrillation (AF), cardiovascular- and all-cause death.

Methods And Results: We followed a cohort of Swedish men enrolled for conscription in 1968-2005 (n = 1,008,485; mean age = 18.3 years) until December 2014. Outcomes were collected from the national inpatient - (IPR), outpatient - (OPR) and cause of death registries. Cox proportional hazard models were used to analyze the longitudinal association between RHR and outcomes while adjusting for potential confounders. While we found no independent association between RHR and risk of IS or MI when comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of the RHR distribution, but a positive association persisted between RHR and incident HF (Hazard ratio (HR) = 1.39 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.29-1.49]) after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP). In similarly adjusted models, an inverse association was found for AF while there were weaker associations with death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all causes (adjusted HR = 1.12 [CI = 1.04-1.21] and 1.20 [CI = 1.17-1.24]). After further adjustment for cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), the associations persisted for HF (HR = 1.26 [1.17-1.35] for any diagnostic position and HR = 1.43 [1.28-1.60] for HF as a main diagnosis) and for all-cause death (HR 1.09 [1.05-1.12]) but not for CVD death.

Conclusion: Adolescent RHR is associated with future risk of HF and death, independently of BP, BMI and CRF, but not with CVD death, MI or IS, suggesting a causal pathway between elevated heart rate and myocardial dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2018.01.110DOI Listing
May 2018

Association of diuretic treatment at hospital discharge in patients with heart failure with all-cause short- and long-term mortality: A propensity score-matched analysis from SwedeHF.

Int J Cardiol 2018 04;257:118-124

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: Diuretics are recommended for treating congestive symptoms in heart failure (HF). The short- and long-term prognostic effects of diuretic treatment at hospital discharge have not been studied in randomized clinical trials or in a Western world population. We aimed to determine the association of diuretic treatment at discharge with the risk of short-and long-term all-cause mortality in real-life patients in Sweden with HF irrespective of EF.

Methods And Results: From a Swedish nationwide HF register 26,218 patients discharged from hospital were included in the present study. A total of 87% of patients were treated with and 13% were not treated with diuretics at hospital discharge. In a 1:1 propensity score-matched cohort of 6564 patients, the association of diuretic treatment at hospital discharge with the risk of 90-day all-cause mortality was neutral (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.74-1.07, p=0.21) whereas the risk of long-term all-cause mortality (median follow-up: 2.85years) was increased (HR 1.15, 95% CI 1.06-1.24, p<0.001).

Conclusion: Diuretic treatment at hospital discharge was not associated with short-term mortality whereas it was associated with increased long-term mortality. Although we accounted for a wide range of clinical features, measured or unmeasured factors could still explain this increase in risk. However, our results suggest that diuretic treatment at hospital discharge may be regarded as a marker of increased long-term mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2017.09.193DOI Listing
April 2018

Cognitive performance in late adolescence and long-term risk of early heart failure in Swedish men.

Eur J Heart Fail 2018 06 19;20(6):989-997. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine/Primary Health Care, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: Heart failure (HF) incidence appears to increase among younger individuals, raising questions of how risk factors affect the younger population. We investigated the association of cognitive performance in late adolescence with long-term risk of early HF.

Methods And Results: We followed a cohort of Swedish men enrolled in mandatory military conscription in 1968-2005 (n = 1 225 300; mean age 18.3 years) until 2014 for HF hospitalization, using data from the Swedish National Inpatient Registry. Cognitive performance (IQ) was measured through a combination of tests, separately evaluating logical, verbal, visuospatial, and technical abilities. The results were standardized, weighted, and presented as stanines of IQ. The association between IQ and risk of HF was estimated using Cox proportional hazards models. In follow-up, there were 7633 cases of a first HF hospitalization (mean age at diagnosis 50.1 years). We found an inverse relationship between global IQ and risk of HF hospitalization. Using the highest IQ stanine as reference, the adjusted hazard ratio for the lowest IQ with risk of HF was 3.11 (95% confidence interval 2.60-3.71), corresponding to a hazard ratio of 1.32 (95% CI 1.28-1.35) per standard deviation decrease of IQ. This association proved persistent across predefined categories of HF with respect to pre-existing or concomitant co-morbidities; it was less apparent among obese conscripts (P for interaction =0.0004).

Conclusion: In this study of young men, IQ was strongly associated with increased risk of early HF. The medical profession needs to be aware of this finding so as to not defer diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.1163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6607476PMC
June 2018

Short atrioventricular delay pacing therapy in young and old patients with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy: good long-term results and a low need for reinterventions.

Europace 2018 10;20(10):1683-1691

Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Queen Silvia Children's Hospital, Rondvägen 10, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aims: Examination of long-term results following different treatments in hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM) in a complete geographical cohort.

Methods And Results: HOCM patients attending during 2002-13 in all 10 hospitals in the West Götaland Region, Sweden, were identified (n = 251), follow-up 14.4 (±8.9) years (mean ± SD), 121 managed medically, 42 treated with myectomy and 88 with short atrioventricular (AV) delay pacing as first interventional procedure. Post-intervention follow-up was 12.9 ± 8.7 years and 12.2 ± 5.0 years, respectively. Both intervention treatments improved New York Heart Association (NYHA) class and outflow gradients significantly. Patients treated with pacing were older (median age 64 vs. 43 years, P < 0.001). Freedom from disease-related death post-procedure at 5, 10, and 20 years were 93%, 80%, 56% vs. 93%, 93%, 57% in pacing and myectomy groups, respectively (log-rank P = 0.43). Survival after diagnosis was not different in patients just treated conservatively (P = 0.51 pacing/conservative; P = 0.39 myectomy/conservative). Reintervention for outflow gradients in patients ≥18 years at procedure occurred in 3.5% in pacing group and 15.6% in myectomy group (P = 0.007). Pacing therapy was equally effective in patients aged 13-64 years (n = 44), as in patients ≥65 years (n = 44): resting gradient pre-procedure and at last follow-up were median (IQR) 65 (71) and 12 (20) mmHg for <65 year-olds (P < 0.001), and 75 (64) and 14 (38) mmHg, respectively, for ≥65 year-olds (P < 0.001). New York Heart Association class improved significantly in both age ranges to 1.6 ± 0.6 and 1.8 ± 0.7, respectively (P < 0.001; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Short AV delay pacing provided lasting satisfactory relief of symptoms and outflow obstruction in the majority of patients, with low risk of requiring reintervention. Our findings support the view that pacing therapy should be considered a valid option to treat patients with HOCM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/eux331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6182309PMC
October 2018

High validity of cardiomyopathy diagnoses in western Sweden (1989-2009).

ESC Heart Fail 2018 04 11;5(2):233-240. Epub 2017 Oct 11.

Section of Emergency and Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital/Östra, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Aim: Hospital discharges with a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy have more than doubled in Sweden since 1987. We validated the cardiomyopathy diagnoses over this time period to investigate that the increase was real and not a result of improved recognition of the diagnosis and better diagnostic methods.

Methods And Results: Every fifth year from 1989 to 2009, records for all patients with a cardiomyopathy diagnosis were identified by searching the local registers in three hospitals in Västra Götaland, Sweden. The diagnoses were validated according to criteria defined by the European Society of Cardiology from 2008. The population comprised 611 cases with cardiomyopathy diagnoses [mean age 58.9 (SD 15.5) years, 68.2% male], divided into three major groups: dilated, hypertrophic, and other cardiomyopathies. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy were analysed as a group. Cardiomyopathies for which there were few cases, such as restrictive, arrhythmogenic right ventricular, left ventricular non-compaction, takotsubo, and peripartum cardiomyopathies, were analysed together and defined as 'other cardiomyopathies'. Relevant co-morbidities were registered. The use of echocardiography was 99.7%, of which 94.6% was complete echocardiography reports. The accuracy rates of the diagnoses dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and other cardiomyopathies were 85.5%, 87.5%, and 100%, respectively, with no differences between the three hospitals or years studied; nor did the prevalence of co-morbidities differ.

Conclusions: The accuracy rate of the cardiomyopathy diagnoses from in-hospital records from >600 patients in western Sweden during a 20 year period was 86.6%, with no significant trend over time, strengthening epidemiological findings that this is likely due to an actual increase in cardiomyopathy diagnoses rather than changes in coding practices. The use of echocardiography was high, and there was no significant difference in co-morbidities during the study period. The accuracy rate of the cardiomyopathy diagnoses during the 20 year period was high. The use of diagnostic tools did not increase under the study period, and once cardiomyopathy diagnoses were suspected, echocardiography was performed in almost all cases. In this study, the occurrence of cardiomyopathy was increasing over time without significant increase of co-morbidity, supporting that an actual increase of cardiomyopathy has occurred.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5880670PMC
April 2018

Symptomatic recovery and pharmacological management in a clinical cohort with peripartum cardiomyopathy.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2018 May 2;31(10):1342-1349. Epub 2017 May 2.

a Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine , Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg , Gothenburg , Sweden.

Aim: We aimed to characterize the clinical course with focus on pharmacological management of peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) in Sweden.

Methods: Twenty-four consecutive patients were retrospectively identified among women presenting with PPCM in Western Sweden. Of these, 14 had concomitant preeclampsia. There was only one fatality. The mean (standard deviation) left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) at diagnosis was 35.0 ± 9.9%. Ten women, 47.6%, required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. All patients received β-blockers (BB) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ACE-I/ARB), which were tapered off over a mean/median period of 3.3/2.5 years with only one case of worsening heart failure. The mean follow-up for medication was 7.9 ± 2.6 years. Early and late/non-recovery was defined as New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class I and NYHA II-IV at one year, respectively. Late recovery was associated with larger LVEDD at diagnosis (56.8 versus 62.4 mm) was associated with late recovery, p = .02.

Results And Conclusions: PPCM had an overall good prognosis in this cohort. Left ventricular dilation at presentation was a predictor of worse prognosis. Concurrent preeclampsia was common, but was associated with better prognosis. Medication was safely discontinued in 75% of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2017.1317341DOI Listing
May 2018

Clinical characteristics of patients from the worldwide registry on peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM): EURObservational Research Programme in conjunction with the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology Study Group on PPCM.

Eur J Heart Fail 2017 09 8;19(9):1131-1141. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Department of Cardiology and Angiology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany.

Aims: The purpose of this study is to describe disease presentation, co-morbidities, diagnosis and initial therapeutic management of patients with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) living in countries belonging to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) vs. non-ESC countries.

Methods And Results: Out of 500 patients with PPCM entered by 31 March 2016, we report on data of the first 411 patients with completed case record forms (from 43 countries) entered into this ongoing registry. There were marked differences in socio-demographic parameters such as Human Development Index, GINI index on inequality, and Health Expenditure in PPCM patients from ESC vs. non-ESC countries (P < 0.001 each). Ethnicity was Caucasian (34%), Black African (25.8%), Asian (21.8%), and Middle Eastern backgrounds (16.4%). Despite the huge disparities in socio-demographic factors and ethnic backgrounds, baseline characteristics are remarkably similar. Drug therapy initiated post-partum included ACE inhibitors/ARBs and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists with identical frequencies in ESC vs. non-ESC countries. However, in non-ESC countries, there was significantly less use of beta-blockers (70.3% vs. 91.9%) and ivabradine (1.4% vs. 17.1%), but more use of diuretics (91.3% vs. 68.8%), digoxin (37.0% vs. 18.0%), and bromocriptine (32.6% vs. 7.1%) (P < 0.001). More patients in non-ESC vs. ESC countries continued to have symptomatic heart failure after 1 month (92.3% vs. 81.3%, P < 0.001). Venous thrombo-embolic events, arterial embolizations, and cerebrovascular accidents were documented in 28 of 411 patients (6.8%). Neonatal death rate was 3.1%.

Conclusion: PPCM occurs in women from different ethnic backgrounds globally. Despite marked differences in socio-economic background, mode of presentation was largely similar. Embolic events and persistent heart failure were common within 1 month post-diagnosis and required intensive, multidisciplinary management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejhf.780DOI Listing
September 2017

Cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength in late adolescence and long-term risk of early heart failure in Swedish men.

Eur J Prev Cardiol 2017 05 5;24(8):876-884. Epub 2017 Feb 5.

1 Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden.

Aims To investigate the association between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and muscle strength in late adolescence and the long-term risk of heart failure (HF). Methods A cohort was created of Swedish men enrolled in compulsory military service between 1968 and 2005 with measurements for CRF and muscle strength ( n = 1,226,623; mean age 18.3 years). They were followed until 31 December 2014 for HF hospitalization as recorded in the Swedish national inpatient registry. Results During the follow-up period (median (interquartile range) 28.4 (22.0-37.0) years), 7656 cases of first HF hospitalization were observed (mean ± SD age at diagnosis 50.1 ± 7.9 years). CRF and muscle strength were estimated by maximum capacity cycle ergometer testing and strength exercises (knee extension, elbow flexion and hand grip). Inverse dose-response relationships were found between CRF and muscle strength with HF as a primary or contributory diagnosis with an adjusted hazards ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.60 (1.44-1.77) for low CRF and 1.45 (1.32-1.58) for low muscle strength categories. The associations of incident HF with CRF and muscle strength persisted, regardless of adjustments for the other potential confounders. The highest risk was observed for HF associated with coronary heart disease, diabetes or hypertension. Conclusions In this longitudinal study of young men, we found inverse and mutually independent associations between CRF and muscle strength with risk of hospitalization for HF. If causal, these results may emphasize the importance of the promotion of CRF and muscle strength in younger populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2047487317689974DOI Listing
May 2017

Heart Failure in Late Pregnancy and Postpartum: Incidence and Long-Term Mortality in Sweden From 1997 to 2010.

J Card Fail 2017 May 6;23(5):370-378. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Heart failure (HF) in late pregnancy and postpartum (HFPP), of which peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) constitutes the larger part, is still a rare occurrence in Sweden. Population-based data are scarce. Our aim was to characterize HFPP and determine the incidence and mortality in a Swedish cohort.

Methods And Results: Through merging data from the National Inpatient, Cause of Death, and Medical Birth Registries, we identified ICD-10 codes for HF and cardiomyopathy within 3 months before delivery to 6 months postpartum. Each case was assigned 5 age-matched control subjects from the Medical Birth Registry. From 1997 to 2010, 241 unique HFPP case subjects and 1063 matched control subjects were identified. Mean incidence was 1 in 5719 deliveries. HFPP was strongly associated with preeclampsia (odds ratio [OR] 11.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] 7.86-18.06), obesity (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.7-3.7), low- and middle-income country (LMIC) of origin (OR 1.73, 95% CI 1.14-2.63), and twin deliveries (OR 4.39 CI 95% 2.24-8.58). By the end of the study period deaths among cases were >35-fold those of controls: 9 cases (3.7 %) and 1 control (0.1 %; P < .0001). Among control subjects, 17.9% of mortalities occurred within 3 years, of diagnosis compared with 100% among cases.

Conclusions: The mean incidence and mortality among women with HFPP in Sweden from 1997 to 2010 was low but carried a marked excess risk of death compared with control subjects and was strongly linked to preeclampsia, obesity, multifetal births, and LMIC origin of the mother.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2016.12.011DOI Listing
May 2017

Obesity in Middle Age Increases Risk of Later Heart Failure in Women-Results From the Prospective Population Study of Women and H70 Studies in Gothenburg, Sweden.

J Card Fail 2017 May 8;23(5):363-369. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Department of Primary Health Care, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

Objective: Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for heart failure (HF), but whether the association varies by age is not understood. The aim was to examine the impact of obesity/overweight on the risk of developing heart failure in women of different ages by analysing prospective data from 2 population studies.

Methods: Data were obtained from the Population Study of Women in Gothenburg and the Gerontologic and Geriatric Population Studies concerning body mass index (BMI) collected in 1980 or later. Follow-up ended in 2006. Cox proportional hazard methods were used to determine associations between developing HF and BMI in 2574 women, 1243 aged 26-65 years and 1331 aged 66-76 years, at baseline.

Results: Women aged 26-65 years at baseline with BMI ≥30 kg/m had an increased risk of developing HF (hazard ratio [HR] 2.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.56-4.35) even when controlling for age, glucose, smoking, alcohol consumption, serum triglycerides, and systolic blood pressure (reference group: women with BMI 18.5-22.4 kg/m). Obese women aged 66-76 years at baseline did not show increased risk of developing HF (HR 0.55, 95% CI 0.23-1.29).

Conclusions: Obesity in middle-age women increases their risk of developing HF later in life. In contrast, obesity later in life shows no association with HF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2016.12.003DOI Listing
May 2017
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