Low-Density Lipoprotein Levels in Patients With Acute Heart Failure


Timothy J. Vittorio, MS, MD, St. Francis Hospital – The Heart Center, Division of Cardiology/Center for Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics, Roslyn, NY 11576-1348
E-mail: t_vittorio@hotmail.com


Statins do not appear to have a significant benefit in heart failure (HF) as they do in coronary artery disease (CAD). Significant evidence exists that low serum cholesterol levels may be harmful in HF. This study sought to determine the optimal low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level in patients hospitalized with acute HF. Patients were included if they presented to the hospital with acute HF and had a lipid panel drawn during admission. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality, and secondary outcomes were rates of major cardiovascular (CV) events, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation, and orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). A total of 2428 patients were followed for a mean of 2.9±2.2 years. For the entire cohort, when compared with those with LDL levels >130 mg/dL, all-cause mortality was higher in those with LDL levels <71 mg/dL (hazard ratio, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 1.31–2.167; P<.01). Results were similar when analyzing patients with LVEF ≤40%, HF of ischemic etiology only, and in statin users. The rates of CV events, LVAD implantation, or OHT in any comparison did not differ. Low LDL levels (<71 mg/dL), similar to low total cholesterol levels, were associated with a poorer prognosis and higher overall mortality in patients with HF, regardless of etiology and systolic function.