Acutely decompensated heart failure with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Clinical characteristics and long-term survival

Domenico Scrutinio, Pietro Guida, Andrea Passantino, Enrico Ammirati, Fabrizio Oliva, Rocco Lagioia, Rosa Raimondo, Mario Venezia, Maria Frigerio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is among the most common comorbidities in patients hospitalized with heart failure and is generally associated with poor outcomes. However, the results of previous studies with regard to increased mortality and risk trajectories were not univocal. We sought to assess the prognostic impact of COPD in patients admitted for acutely decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and investigate the association between use of β-blockers at discharge and mortality in patients with COPD.

METHODS: We studied 1530 patients. The association of COPD with mortality was examined in adjusted Fine-Gray proportional hazard models where heart transplantation and ventricular assist device implantation were treated as competing risks. The primary outcome was 5-year all-cause mortality.

RESULTS: After adjusting for establisked risk markers, the subdistribution hazard ratios (SHR) of 5-year mortality for COPD patients compared with non-COPD patients was 1.25 (95% confidence intervals [CIs] 1.06-1.47; p = .007). The relative risk of death for COPD patients increased steeply from 30 to 180 days, and remained noticeably high throughout the entire follow-up. Among patients with comorbid COPD, the use of β-blockers at discharge was associated with a significantly reduced risk of 1-year post-discharge mortality (SHR 0.66, 95%CIs 0.53-0.83; p ≤.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that ADHF patients with comorbid COPD have a worse long-term survival than those without comorbid COPD. Most of the excess mortality occurred in the first few months following hospitalization. Our data also suggest that the use of β-blockers at discharge is independently associated with improved survival in ADHF patients with COPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists/therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Heart Failure/mortality
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Heart-Assist Devices
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology
  • Survival Analysis


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