Natural History of Asymptomatic Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in the Community
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background— Information is limited regarding the rates of progression to congestive heart failure (CHF) and death in individuals with asymptomatic left ventricular systolic dysfunction (ALVD). We sought to characterize the natural history of ALVD, by studying unselected individuals with this condition in the community.
Methods and Results— We studied 4257 participants (1860 men) from the Framingham Study who underwent routine echocardiography. The prevalence of ALVD (visually estimated ejection fraction [EF]≤50% without a history of CHF) was 6.0% in men and 0.8% in women. During up to 12 years of follow-up, rates of CHF among subjects with normal left ventricular systolic function (EF >50%, n=4128) and ALVD (n=129) were 0.7 and 5.8 per 100 person-years, respectively. After adjustment for cardiovascular disease risk factors, ALVD was associated with a hazards ratio (HR) for CHF of 4.7 (95% CI 2.7 to 8.1), compared with individuals without ALVD. An elevated risk of CHF after ALVD was observed even in individuals without prior myocardial infarction or valvular disease, with an adjusted HR of 6.5 (CI 3.1 to 13.5). Mild ALVD (EF 40% to 50%, n=78) and moderate-to-severe ALVD (EF <40%, n=51) were associated with adjusted HRs for CHF of 3.3 (CI 1.7 to 6.6) and 7.8 (CI 3.9 to 15.6), respectively. ALVD was also associated with an increased mortality risk (adjusted HR 1.6, CI 1.1 to 2.4). The median survival of ALVD subjects was 7.1 years.
Conclusion— Individuals with ALVD in the community are at high risk of CHF and death, even when only mild impairment of EF is present. Additional studies are needed to define optimal therapy for mild ALVD.
Received March 18, 2003; revision received May 30, 2003; accepted June 4, 2003.