Familial mortality risks in patients with heart failure-A Swedish sibling study

Magnus P. Lindgren, J. Gustav Smith, Xinjun Li, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist, Bengt Zöller

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4 Scopus citations


Background-The influence of familial factors on the prognosis of heart failure (HF) is unknown. This nationwide follow-up study aimed to determine familial mortality risks of HF among Swedish siblings hospitalized for HF. Methods and Results-We linked several Swedish nationwide registers for individuals aged 0 to 80 years. The study population consisted of 373 people hospitalized for HF for the first time between 2000 and 2012 with 1 proband sibling previously hospitalized for HF for the first time between 2000 and 2007. Families with congenital heart disease were excluded. Familial hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality after first HF hospitalization were determined with Cox regression. The influence of proband survival was categorized as short survival (<5 years) or long survival (≥5 years) and determined continuously for the initial 5 years of proband survival. Adjustments were made for age, sex, time period, and common HF comorbidities. Short proband survival was associated with a HR of 2.02 (95% confidence interval, 1.32-3.09) for overall mortality. This HR was 2.35 (95% confidence interval, 1.18-4.67) in patients without preceding coronary heart disease, whereas patients with ischemic HF had an HR of 1.84 (95% confidence interval, 1.05-3.23). For each year of proband survival, the risk of death decreased, with a HR of 0.86 (95% confidence interval, 0.77-0.98). Conclusions-Our results suggest that family history of poor survival in specific relation to HF is an important risk factor for death in HF patients. Additional studies are needed to characterize the molecular underpinnings and detailed phenotypic characteristics of such patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere010181
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Family study
  • Heart failure
  • Mortality
  • Prognosis


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