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Lung Hypertension Common in Heart Failure Patients

May be useful in diagnosis and assessment of mortality risk

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pulmonary hypertension is common in patients with preserved ejection fraction heart failure, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure may be effective in diagnosing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and predicting the risk of death, researchers report in the March 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Carolyn S.P. Lam, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues compared the prevalence, severity and significance of pulmonary hypertension in 244 patients with HFpEF and 719 patients with hypertension but not heart failure.

During three years of follow-up, the investigators found that 83 percent of HFpEF patients had pulmonary hypertension and the median pulmonary artery systolic pressure was 48 mm Hg. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure was significantly higher in patients with HFpEF (after adjusting for pulmonary capillary wedge pressure), could distinguish HFpEF from hypertension, and strongly predicted mortality in HFpEF patients (hazard ratio 1.3 per 10 mm Hg), the researchers report.

The authors "provide strong evidence that pulmonary hypertension is common in HFpEF and that non-invasive measurement of pulmonary artery systolic pressure may prove useful in diagnosing HFpEF and in selecting patients at increased risks for adverse events," Gregory D. Lewis, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, writes in an accompanying editorial.

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