Authors: Zhao Q, Wang L, Kurlansky PA, Schein J, Baser O, Berger JS

Background: Coronary artery disease accelerates heart failure progression, leading to poor prognosis and a substantial increase in morbidity and mortality. This study was aimed to assess the impact of coronary artery disease on all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and ischemic stroke (IS) among hospitalized newly-diagnosed heart failure (HF) patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD).

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included Medicare patients (aged ≥65 years) with ≥1 inpatient heart failure claim (index date = discharge date) during 01JAN2007-31DEC2013. Patients were required to have continuous enrollment for ≥1-year pre-index date (baseline: 1-year pre-index period) without a prior heart failure claim (in the 1 year pre-index prior to the index hospital admission); follow-up ran from the index date to death, disenrollment from the health plan, or the end of the study period, whichever occurred first. HF with LVSD patients, identified with diagnosis codes of systolic dysfunction (excluding baseline atrial fibrillation), were stratified based on prevalent coronary artery disease at baseline into coronary artery disease and non-coronary artery disease cohorts. Main outcomes were occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events including all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, and ischemic stroke. Propensity score matching (PSM) was used to balance patient characteristics. Kaplan-Meier curves of ACM and cumulative incidence distribution of MI/IS were presented.

Results: Of 22,230 HF with LVSD patients, 15,827 (71.2%) had coronary artery disease and were overall more likely to be younger (79.8 vs 80.9 years), male (49.6% vs. 35.6%), white (86.2% vs 81.4%), with more prevalent comorbidities including hypertension (80.7% vs 74.3%), hyperlipidemia (67.7% vs 46.7%), and diabetes (46.3% vs 35.8%) (all p < 0.0001). After propensity score matching, cohorts included 5792 patients each. The coronary artery disease cohort had significantly higher cumulative incidence of myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke at the end of 7-year follow-up vs non-coronary artery disease (myocardial infarction = 50.0% vs 18.0%; ischemic stroke = 23.3% vs 18.7%; all p < 0.0001). Follow-up all-cause mortality rates were similar between the two cohorts.

Conclusions: HF with LVSD patients with coronary artery disease had significantly higher incidence of ischemic stroke and myocardial infarction, but similar all-cause mortality compared to those without coronary artery disease.

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