Invited Commentary: Searching for the Perfect Measure of Diastolic Dysfunction - A Futile Exercise?

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Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is common, recalcitrant to treatment, and associated with poor outcomes. Diastolic dysfunction (DD) is an independent predictor of HFpEF risk, associated clinical manifestations, and long-term outcomes. However, the usefulness of diastolic function assessment is limited by the heterogeneity in the existing definitions of DD. In this issue of the Journal, Rasmussen-Torvik et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(12):1221-1227) have highlighted this problem by evaluating the prevalence and concordance of 4 established definitions of DD in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort. The authors demonstrate significant variability in prevalence of DD and its association with established risk factors across the different definitions. These findings suggest that the current 1-dimensional approach to HFpEF risk prediction based on noninvasive measures of diastolic function may not be optimal. Perhaps the future of HFpEF risk assessment lies in a multimodality approach that combines the relevant echocardiographic measures of diastolic function with blood-based biomarkers (such as N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)) and a measure of functional status (such as exercise capacity).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1228-1230
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2017


  • diastolic dysfunction
  • heart failure
  • heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
  • risk prediction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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