Influence of Age on Efficacy and Safety of Spironolactone in Heart Failure

TOPCAT Investigators

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6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The authors examined efficacy and safety of spironolactone by age in the Americas region (N = 1,767) of the TOPCAT (Treatment of Preserved Cardiac Function Heart Failure with an Aldosterone Antagonist) trial.

BACKGROUND: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction disproportionately affects older adults who may exhibit changes in physiology and variable pharmacokinetics.

METHODS: TOPCAT enrolled patients with heart failure and a left ventricular ejection fraction ≥45% who were age 50 or older with an estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥30 mL/min/1.73 m 2 and prior heart failure hospitalization or elevated natriuretic peptide levels. Participants were randomized to spironolactone or placebo with a mean follow-up duration of 3.3 years. We assessed treatment effect and safety by protocol-defined age categories (<65, 65 to 74, and ≥75 years).

RESULTS: The mean age was 72 ± 10 years (range 50 to 97 years) with 41% over the age of 75 years. Participants ≥75 years were more commonly women and white and had a lower body mass index and estimated glomerular filtration rate compared with the younger age categories. Spironolactone reduced the primary composite outcome compared with placebo across all age categories (p interaction = 0.42). However, spironolactone was associated with an increased risk of the safety endpoint (hazard ratio: 2.54; 95% confidence interval: 1.91 to 3.37; p < 0.001), particularly in older age groups (p interaction = 0.02). Findings in the whole TOPCAT cohort were consistent with results from the Americas region.

CONCLUSIONS: In this post hoc, exploratory analysis of the TOPCAT trial data from the Americas region, although there was no effect of age on efficacy, there were considerable effects of age on increased rates of adverse safety outcomes. These results should be weighed when considering spironolactone for older heart failure with preserved ejection fraction patients. (Treatment of Preserved Cardiac Function Heart Failure with an Aldosterone Antagonist [TOPCAT]; NCT00094302).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1022-1028
Number of pages7
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The TOPCAT study was supported by a contract from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health (HHSN268200425207C). The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Vardeny has received research grants from AstraZeneca; and has consulted for Novartis, Amgen, and Sanofi-Pasteur. Dr. Vaduganathan is supported by the KL2/Catalyst Medical Research Investigator Training award from Harvard Catalyst (National Institutes of Health [NIH]/NCATS Award UL 1TR002541); and serves on advisory boards for Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer AG, and Baxter Healthcare. Dr. Shah has received research grants from Actelion, AstraZeneca, Corvia, and Novartis; and has served as a consultant/advisory board/steering committee member for Abbott, Actelion, AstraZeneca, Amgen, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Cardiora, Coridea, CVRx, Eisai, Ionis, Ironwood, Merck, MyoKardia, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Tenax, and United Therapeutics. Dr. Rouleau has consulted for Novartis and AstraZeneca. Dr. Fang has served on steering committees for Novartis, Amgen, AstraZeneca, and J & J. Dr. Lewis has received institutional research grants from Novartis, Amgen, and Sanofi in order to conduct clinical trials; and has received consulting fees from Novartis. Dr. Pitt has received consulting fees from Amorcyte, AstraZeneca, Aurasense, Bayer, BG Medicine, Gambro, Johnson & Johnson, Mesoblast, Novartis, Pfizer, Relypsa, and Takeda; research grant support from Forest Laboratories; holds stock in Aurasense, Relypsa, BG Medicine, and Aurasense; and has a pending patent related to site-specific delivery of eplerenone to the myocardium. Dr. Pfeffer has received research support from Novartis; serves as a consultant for AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, DalCor, Genzyme, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Sanofi, Teva, and Thrasos; and has stock options in DalCor. Dr. Desai has received consulting fees from Novartis, AstraZeneca, Abbott, Relypsa, and DalCor Pharma; and research grants from Novartis. Dr. Sweitzer has received research grants from Merck and Novartis; and consults for Myokardia and Acorda. Dr. Solomon has received research grants from Alnylam, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bellerophon, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celladon, Cytokinetics, Eidos, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Ionis, Lone Star Heart, Mesoblast, MyoKardia, NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur, Theracos; and has consulted for Akros, Alnylam, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardior, Corvia, Cytokinetics, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Ironwood, Merck, Myokardia, Novartis, Roche, Takeda, Theracos, Quantum Genetics, Cardurion, AoBiome, Janssen, Cardiac Dimensions, and Tenaya. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • age
  • heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists
  • spironolactone

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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