HealthDay News — Heart failure patients who struggle to perform daily tasks are at increased risk for hospitalization and death, according to a study published in Circulation: Heart Failure.

The study included 1,128 people with heart failure, average age 75, who were classified as having either minimal, moderate, or severe difficulty with activities such as getting dressed, cleaning the house, climbing stairs, taking medications, and using the bathroom.

During about three years of follow-up, 910 of the heart patients were hospitalized and 614 died. Heart failure was the most common cause of hospitalization (18.4%), followed by arrhythmia (4.7%) and pneumonia (4.3%). 

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Average length of survival was close to six years for those with minimal difficulty with daily activities, three years for those with moderate difficulty, and 1.5 years for those with severe difficulty.

“We suspect that the difficulty with daily activities that we observed is not entirely attributable to the patients’ heart failure,” Dunlay said in a journal news release. “Most patients with heart failure are elderly and have many other chronic conditions, and we need to consider providing comprehensive care.”


ADunlay SM, et al. Circulation. 2015; DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE>114.001542