Front Cardiovasc Med. 2021 Jul 30;8:665202. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2021.665202. eCollection 2021.
Objective: In the past years, heart rate (HR) has emerged as a highly relevant modifiable risk factor for heart failure (HF) patients. However, most of the clinical trials so far evaluated the role of HR in stable chronic HF cohorts. The aim of this multi-center, prospective observational study was to assess the association between HR and therapy with HR modulators (beta blockers, ivabradine, or a combination of ivabradine and beta blockers) at hospital discharge with patients' cardiovascular mortality and re-hospitalization at 6 months in acutely decompensated HF patients. Materials and Methods: We recruited 289 HF patients discharged alive after admission for HF decompensation from 10 centers in northern Italy over 9 months (from April 2017 to January 2018). The primary endpoint was the combination of cardiovascular mortality or re-hospitalizations for HF at 6 months. Results: At 6 months after discharge, 64 patients were readmitted (32%), and 39 patients died (16%). Multivariate analysis showed that HR at discharge ≥ 90 bpm (OR = 8.47; p = 0.016) independently predicted cardiovascular mortality, while therapy with beta blockers at discharge was found to reduce the risk of the composite endpoint. In patients receiving HR modulators the event rates for the composite endpoint, all-cause mortality, and cardiovascular mortality were lower than in patients not receiving HR modulators. Conclusions: Heart rate at discharge ≥90 bpm predicts cardiovascular mortality, while therapy with beta blockers is negatively associated with the composite endpoint of cardiovascular mortality and hospitalization at 6 months in acutely decompensated HF patients. Patients receiving a HR modulation therapy at hospital discharge showed the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality and re-hospitalization.