Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure are major causes of death and disability. Because little information is available about the population of patients with both syndromes, we assessed the characteristics and the independent contribution of COPD to outcomes in patients with stable chronic heart failure. Methods: The clinical, neurohormonal, and echocardiographic characteristics of the 5010 patients enrolled in the Valsartan Heart Failure Trial were compared in patients with or without COPD. The prognostic value of COPD was tested by multivariate Cox proportional hazard models. Results: Patients with COPD were older, more symptomatic, and less likely to be receiving beta-blocker therapy, and had a higher mortality (27.4% vs. 18.4%, P < .0001). Echocardiographic parameters were not different, and brain natriuretic peptide was only minimally increased. Norepinephrine, inflammatory markers, cardiac troponin T, and creatinine values were significantly higher. After adjustment, COPD no longer predicted all-cause mortality but remained predictive of noncardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio 2.50; 95% confidence interval: 1.58-3.96; P < .0001) and hospitalizations, especially noncardiovascular (hazard ratio 1.71; 95% confidence interval; 1.43-2.06; P < .0001). Conclusions: Patients with COPD are more symptomatic and have worse outcomes that are not explained by poorer left ventricular function. After adjustment for demographic, clinical, biohumoral, and treatment variables, COPD is a weak predictor of all-cause mortality but a strong predictor of noncardiovascular events. Awareness and optimized treatment of heart failure and COPD may reduce the clinical burden of these patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Conflict of interest: The Valsartan Heart Failure Trial was funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland).
- Cardiac failure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Clinical trials