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Patty Chang, MD, MHS, FACC / Photo by Chris Polydoroff
Patty Chang, MD, MHS 

Patricia Pat-Yue Chang, MD, MHS, associate professor in the division of cardiology, and Sameer Arora, MD, MPH, fellow in the division of cardiology, are co-authors of a study that shows an increase in comorbidities and mortality risk among hospitalized patients with acute decompensated HFpEF and HFrEF.

The study published in the journal Circulation looks at temporal trends in the burden of comorbidities and associated risk of mortality among patients with heart failure (HF) with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), in which the left ventricle of the heart is not able to relax enough to fill properly with blood, and HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), in which the left ventricle is not able contract enough to pump out as much blood.

Sameer Arora, MD
Sameer Arora, MD

Senior author of the study Melissa Caughey, PhD, epidemiologist and instructor in the UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, says the findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the epidemiology of heart failure is evolving.

“The medical complexity of patients hospitalized with HFpEF and HFrEF appears to be increasing over time,” said Caughey. “We used data from the surveillance component of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study to examine HF-related hospitalizations from four U.S. areas from 2005 to 2014.”

Melissa Caughey, PhD
Melissa Caughey, PhD

Just over 5,400 hospitalizations were analyzed, with stratification by heart failure type and sex. Caughey says the following comorbidities were extracted from medical records: coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, atrial fibrillation, stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), valvular heart disease, myocardial infarction, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, serum creatinine, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, depression, anemia, and thyroid disease.

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