Sudden cardiac death in heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction

Selcuk Adabag, Lindsay G. Smith, Inder Anand, Alan K Berger, Russell V Luepker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Whereas sudden cardiac death (SCD) risk has been recognized in heart failure (HF) patients with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), less is known about SCD risk in HF patients with preserved EF (HFpEF). We examined the incidence and predictors of SCD in HFpEF in a large population sample. Methods and Results: Medical records of patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of HF from hospitals in Minneapolis-St Paul in 1995 and 2000 were abstracted. HFpEF was defined as EF ≥45%. SCD was defined as cardiac arrest or out-of-hospital death due to coronary heart disease (CHD) on death certificates. A total of 2,203 patients (age 70 ± 11 years, 53% male) were included. The 787 patients (36%) with HFpEF were older, more often female and more likely to have hypertension than the 1,416 (64%) with HFrEF. All-cause mortality (52% vs 58%; P =.01) and SCD (6% vs 14%; P <.0001) rates were lower in HFpEF than in HFrEF 5 years after hospital discharge. Age, sex, CHD, and length of index hospitalization were the only independent predictors of SCD in HFpEF. Conclusions: Incidence of SCD in HFpEF is lower than in HFrEF. Present markers of SCD in HFpEF are sparse and insufficient to identify the patient at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-754
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiac failure
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Heart failure
  • ejection fraction
  • sudden cardiac death


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