Accumulation of risk markers predicts the incidence of sudden death in patients with chronic heart failure

Jun Watanabe, Tsuyoshi Shinozaki, Nobuyuki Shiba, Kohei Fukahori, Yoshito Koseki, Akihiko Karibe, Masahito Sakuma, Masahito Miura, Yutaka Kagaya, Kunio Shirato

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35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Sudden death is common in chronic heart failure (CHF). Risk stratification is the first step for primary prevention. Aim: To evaluate the use of risk markers for estimating sudden death risk. Methods and results: We prospectively examined 680 stable patients with CHF. Risk markers were evaluated using the Cox's proportional hazard model in a stepwise manner. Ejection fraction < 30%, left ventricular end-diastolic diameter > 60 mm, brain natriuretic peptide > 200 pg/ml, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, and diabetes were significantly associated with increased risk of sudden death. When the number of risk markers were included as co-variables, only "number of risk markers ≥ 3″ entered the model (hazard ratio 8.95, 95% confidence interval 4.57-17.52), while the effects of individual markers did not enter the model. The annual mortality from sudden death was 11% in patients with 3 or more risk markers and 1.4% in patients with 2 or less. Conclusions: Rather than particular risk markers, the number of accumulated risk markers was a more powerful predictor for sudden death in patients with CHF. The number of risk markers could be useful for risk stratification of sudden death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 May


  • Brain natriuretic peptide
  • Ejection fraction
  • Heart failure
  • Observational study
  • Risk markers


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