Discordance between severity of heart failure as determined by patient report versus cardiopulmonary exercise testing

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3 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcomes may be discordant to severity of illness as assessed by objective parameters. The frequency of this discordance and its influence on clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS: In HF-ACTION (Heart Failure: A Controlled Trial Investigating Outcomes of Exercise Training), participants (N=2062) had baseline assessment of health-related quality of life via the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Clinical Summary score (KCCQ-CS) and objective severity by cardiopulmonary stress testing (minute ventilation [VE]/carbon dioxide production [VCO2] slope). We defined 4 groups by median values: 2 concordant (lower severity: High KCCQ-CS and low VE/VCO2 slope; higher severity: Low KCCQ-CS and high VE/VCO2 slope) and 2 discordant (symptom minimizer: High KCCQ-CS and high VE/VCO2 slope; symptom magnifier: Low KCCQ-CS and low VE/VCO2 slope). The association of group assignment with mortality was assessed in adjusted Cox models. Symptom magnification (23%) and symptom minimization (23%) were common. Despite comparable KCCQ-CS scores, the risk of all-cause mortality in symptom minimizers versus concordant-lower severity participants was increased significantly (hazard ratio [HR], 1.79; 95% CI, 1.27-2.50; P<0.001). Furthermore, despite symptom magnifiers having a KCCQ-CS score 28 points lower (poorer QOL) than symptom minimizers, their risk of mortality was not increased (HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.57-1.1; P=0.18, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Severity of illness by patient report versus cardiopulmonary exercise testing was frequently discordant. Mortality tracked more closely with the objective data, highlighting the importance of relying not only on patient report, but also objective data when risk stratifying patients with heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere019864
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyspnea
  • Epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of life
  • Stress testx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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