J Clin Med. 2023 Sep 14;12(18):5974. doi: 10.3390/jcm12185974.
BACKGROUND: Most patients diagnosed with heart failure (HF) are older adults with multiple comorbidities. Multipathological patients constitute a population with common characteristics: greater clinical complexity and vulnerability, frailty, mortality, functional deterioration, polypharmacy, and poorer health-related quality of life with more dependency.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the clinical characteristics of hospitalized patients with acute heart failure and to determine the prognosis of patients with acute heart failure according to the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) scale.
METHODS: Observational, prospective, and multicenter cohort study conducted from September 2020 to May 2022 in patients with acute heart failure as the main diagnosis and NT-ProBNP > 300 pg. The cohort included patients admitted to internal medicine departments in 18 hospitals in Spain. Epidemiological variables, comorbidities, cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular history, analytical parameters, and treatment during admission and discharge of the patients were collected. Level of frailty was assessed by the SPPB scale, and dependence, through the Barthel index. A descriptive analysis of all the variables was carried out, expressed as frequencies and percentages. A bivariate analysis of the SPPB was performed based on the score obtained (SPPB ≤ 5 and SPPB > 5). For the overall analysis of mortality, HF mortality, and readmission of patients at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year, Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used, in which the survival experience among patients with an SPPB > 5 and SPPB ≤ 5 was compared.
RESULTS: A total of 482 patients were divided into two groups according to the SPPB with a cut-off point of an SPPB < 5. In the sample, 349 patients (77.7%) had an SPPB ≤ 5 and 100 patients (22.30%) had an SPPB > 5. Females (61%) predominated in the group with an SPPB ≤ 5 and males (61%) in those with an SPPB > 5. The mean age was higher in patients with an SPPB ≤ 5 (85.63 years). Anemia was more frequent in patients with an SPPB ≤ 5 (39.5%) than in patients with an SPPB ≥ 5 (29%). This was also seen with osteoarthritis (32.7%, p = 0.000), diabetes (49.6%, p = 0.001), and dyslipidemia (69.6%, p = 0.011). Patients with an SPPB score > 5 had a Barthel index < 60 in only 4% (n = 4) of cases; the remainder of the patients (96%, n = 96) had a Barthel index > 60. Patients with an SPPB > 5 showed a higher probability of survival at 30 days (p = 0.029), 6 months (p = 0.031), and 1 year (p = 0.007) with (OR = 7.07; 95%CI (1.60-29.80); OR: 3.9; 95%CI (1.30-11.60); OR: 6.01; 95%CI (1.90-18.30)), respectively. No statistically significant differences were obtained in the probability of readmission at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients admitted with acute heart failure showed a high frequency of frailty as assessed by the SPPB. Patients with an SPPB ≤ 5 had greater comorbidities and greater functional limitations than patients with an SPPB > 5. Patients with heart failure and a Barthel index > 60 frequently presented an SPPB < 5. In daily clinical practice, priority should be given to performing the SPPB in patients with a Barthel index > 60 to assess frailty. Patients with an SPPB ≤ 5 had a higher risk of mortality at 30 days, 6 months, and 1 year than patients with an SPPB ≤ 5. The SPPB is a valid tool for identifying frailty in acute heart failure patients and predicting 30-day, 6-month, and 1-year mortality.