Using Latent Class Analysis to Identify Different Clinical Profiles Among Patients With Advanced Heart Failure

Moritz Blum, Karen McKendrick, Laura P. Gelfman, Sean P. Pinney, Nathan E. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Context: Although palliative care is guideline-indicated for patients with advanced heart failure (HF), the scarcity of a specialty-trained palliative care workforce demands better identification of patients who are most burdened by the disease Objectives: We sought to identify latent subgroups with variations regarding symptom burden, functional status, and multimorbidity in an advanced HF population. Methods: We performed a latent class analysis (LCA) of baseline data from a trial enrolling advanced HF patients. As LCA input variables, we chose indicators of HF severity, physical and psychological symptom burden, functional status, and the number of comorbidities. Results: Among 563 patients, two subgroups emerged from LCA, Class A (352 [62.5%]) and Class B (211 [37.5%]). Patients in Class A were less often classified as NYHA class III or IV (88.0% vs. 97.5%, P < 0.001), as compared to Class B patients. Class A patients had fewer symptoms, fewer comorbidities, only 25.9% had impairments in activities of daily living (ADL), and virtually none suffered from clinically significant anxiety (0.4%) or depression (0.9%). In Class B, every patient reported more than three symptoms, almost all patients (92.6%) had some impairment in ADL, and nearly a third had anxiety (30.2%) or depression (28.3%). All-cause mortality after 12 months was higher in Class B, as compared to Class A (18.5% vs. 12.5%, P = 0.047). Conclusion: Among advanced HF patients, we identified a distinct subgroup characterized by a conjunction of high symptom burden, anxiety, depression, multimorbidity, and functional status impairment, which might profit particularly from palliative care interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Advanced heart failure
  • activities of daily living
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • functional status
  • latent class analysis
  • multimorbidity
  • symptom burden


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