Validation of Cognitive Impairment in Combination With Physical Frailty as a Predictor of Mortality in Patients With Advanced Heart Failure Referred for Heart Transplantation.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Transplantation, 2022, 106, (1), pp. 200-209
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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to validate our previous finding that frailty predicts early mortality in patients with advanced heart failure (AHF) and that including cognition in the frailty assessment enhances the prediction of mortality. METHODS: Patients with AHF referred to our Transplant Unit between November 2015 and April 2020 underwent physical frailty assessment using the modified Fried physical frailty (PF) phenotype as well as cognitive assessment using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to identify patients who were cognitively frail (CogF). We assessed the predictive value of the 2 frailty measures (PF ≥ 3 of 5 = frail; CogF ≥ 3 of 6 = frail) for pretransplant mortality. RESULTS: Three hundred thirteen patients (233 male and 80 female; age 53 ± 13 y) were assessed. Of these, 224 patients (72%) were nonfrail and 89 (28%) were frail using the PF. The CogF assessment identified an additional 30 patients as frail: 119 (38%). Frail patients had significantly increased mortality as compared to nonfrail patients. Ventricular assist device and heart transplant-censored survival at 12 mo was 92 ± 2 % for nonfrail and 69 ± 5% for frail patients (P < 0.0001) using the CogF instrument. CONCLUSIONS: This study validates our previously published findings that frailty is prevalent in patients with AHF referred for heart transplantation. PF predicts early mortality. The addition of cognitive assessment to the physical assessment of frailty identifies an additional cohort of patients with a similarly poor prognosis.
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