Risk factors and comorbidities in a community-wide sample of patients hospitalized with acute systolic or diastolic heart failure: the Worcester Heart Failure Study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Senior Scholars Program

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology


OBJECTIVES: Few epidemiological studies have examined differences in the prevalence of risk factors and comorbidities in patients with systolic heart failure (HF), as compared with those with diastolic HF.

METHODS: We analyzed data from 1426 residents of the Worcester (MA) metropolitan area hospitalized at all 11 greater Worcester medical centers for acute HF during 1995 and 2000 who had data available on ejection fraction (EF) findings during hospitalization. The analysis was conducted based on the presence of either normal (diastolic HF) as compared with reduced (systolic HF) EF, using an EF cutpoint of at least 50%.

RESULTS: The average age of study patients was 71 years, 56% were women, and 43% had diastolic HF. Patients with diastolic HF were more likely to be older, female, obese, and to have higher systolic blood pressures and lower heart rates at the time of hospital presentation than patients with systolic HF. In contrast, patients with systolic HF had a greater prevalence of diabetes, previous myocardial infarction, and a history of alcohol abuse as compared with patients with diastolic HF. In multivariate analyses, the strongest metabolic correlates of diastolic HF were obesity, hypertension, and clustered metabolic risk factors; diabetes was associated with the occurrence of systolic HF.

CONCLUSION: The results of our population-based investigation show that multiple risk factors and comorbidities are present in patients with systolic and diastolic HF. Consideration of these comorbidities and risk factors should be taken into account in distinguishing patients with diastolic HF from those with systolic HF and in their optimal management.

DOI of Published Version



Coron Artery Dis. 2010 May;21(3):137-43. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Coronary artery disease

PubMed ID



Samuel Joffe participated in this study as a medical student as part of the Senior Scholars research program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed