BACKGROUND: The prognostic impact of hyperuricemia on long-term clinical outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure (HF) has been investigated in observational registries and clinical trials, but the results have been often inconclusive. We examined the prognostic impact of elevated serum uric acid levels on long-term clinical outcomes in the GISSI-HF (Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nella Insufficienza Cardiaca-Heart Failure) trial.
METHODS: We assessed the rates of all-cause death, cardiovascular death, cardiovascular hospitalization and the composite of all-cause death or cardiovascular hospitalization over a median follow-up of 3.9 years among 6683 ambulatory patients with chronic HF.
RESULTS: Patients in the 3rd serum uric acid tertile (>7.2 mg/dl) had a nearly 1.8-fold increased risk of all-cause death and cardiovascular death, and a nearly 1.5-fold increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalization and of the composite endpoint compared to those in the 1st uric acid tertile (<5.7 mg/dl). Beyond uric acid ≥7 mg/dl the risk of outcomes increased sharply and linearly. The significant association between elevated serum uric acid levels and adverse outcomes persisted after adjustment for multiple established risk factors, HF etiology, left ventricular ejection fraction, medication use and other potential confounders, with an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.37 (95% CI 1.22-1.55) for all-cause death, 1.48 (1.29-1.69) for cardiovascular death, 1.19 (1.09-1.30) for cardiovascular hospitalization and 1.21 (1.11-1.31) for the composite endpoint, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated serum uric acid levels are independently associated with poor long-term survival and increased risk of cardiovascular hospitalization in patients with chronic HF.