Heart failure patients struggling with daily tasks more often hospitalized, die early

February 25, 2015

Heart failure patients who struggle doing daily tasks are more likely to be hospitalized and die early, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure.

The risk is higher for older women, unmarried people and those with chronic conditions that affect mobility and ability, including obesity, dementia, anemia and diabetes, researchers said.

Heart failure affects more than 5 million Americans, many who live fewer than five years after diagnosis.

Assessing patients' abilities to perform daily living activities -- like bathing or dressing -- can help determine if they need more hands-on care.

"Difficulty with daily living is easy to assess in a routine doctor's visit, and can provide important information to help guide conversations about goals of care," said Shannon Dunlay, M.D., M.S., lead author of the study and an advanced heart failure cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "Patients who report difficulties may be candidates for a more thorough assessment and physical therapy evaluation to improve or halt the decline in mobility. Our findings support the assessment of mobility as a part of the routine clinical care of patients with heart failure."

Researchers reviewed questionnaires from 1,128 heart failure patients. Half were female, the average age was about 75, and half were married. Eighteen percent were obese and most had other medical conditions including high blood pressure (87.4 percent), anemia (57 percent), diabetes (36.5 percent), peripheral vascular disease (26.5 percent) and cerebrovascular disease (almost 30 percent).

Patients were grouped as having minimal, moderate or severe difficulty with daily activities that included getting dressed, using the bathroom, cleaning the house, climbing stairs and taking medications. Most patients had a hard time with at least one daily activity, but there was a corresponding relationship between how easily one could go about their day and overall mortality.

Among the findings:"We suspect that the difficulty with daily activities that we observed is not entirely attributable to the patients' heart failure," Dunlay said. "Most patients with heart failure are elderly and have many other chronic conditions, and we need to consider providing comprehensive care."
-end-
Co-authors are: Sheila M. Manemann, M.P.H.; Alanna M. Chamberlain, Ph,D,; Andrea L. Cheville, M.D.; Ruoxiang Jiang, B.S.; Susan A. Weston, M.S.; and Véronique L. Roger, M.D., M.P.H. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

The National Institutes of Health provided funding for the study.

Additional Resources:


  • Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews.

    Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

    American Heart Association

    Related Diabetes Articles from Brightsurf:

    New diabetes medication reduced heart event risk in those with diabetes and kidney disease
    Sotagliflozin - a type of medication known as an SGLT2 inhibitor primarily prescribed for Type 2 diabetes - reduces the risk of adverse cardiovascular events for patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

    Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
    Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.

    Making sense of diabetes
    Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.

    Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
    Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

    Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
    Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.

    Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
    Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
    Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

    Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
    Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

    Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
    In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.

    People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
    Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.

    Read More: Diabetes News and Diabetes Current Events
  • Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.