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Aims: To examine whether self-rated disease-specific and generic quality of life predicts long-term mortality, independent of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels, and to explore factors related to low quality of life in a well-defined heart failure (HF) population. Methods and results: A cohort of 661 patients (62% male; age 71 years; left ventricular ejection fraction 34%) was followed prospectively for 3 years. Quality of life questionnaires (Ladder of Life, RAND36, and Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire) and BNP levels were assessed at discharge after a hospital admission for HF. Three-year mortality was 42%. After adjustment for demographic variables, clinical variables, and BNP levels, poor quality of life scores predicted higher mortality; per 10 units on the physical functioning [hazard ratio (HR) 1.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.14] and general health (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.01–1.16) dimensions of the RAND36. Patients with low scores on these dimensions were more likely to be in New York Heart Association class III–IV, diagnosed with co-morbidities, have suffered longer from HF, have lower estimated glomerular filtration rates, and have fewer beta-blocker prescriptions. Conclusion: Quality of life was independently related to survival in a cohort of hospitalized patients with HF.

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