A comparison of low versus high heart rate in patients with atrial fibrillation and advanced chronic heart failure: Effects on clinical profile, neurohormones and survival

M Rienstra, IC van Gelder*, Mijke Lambregtse - van den Berg, Frans Boomsma, HL Hillege, DJ Veldhuisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Atrial fibrillation is common in chronic heart failure. Long-term restoration of sinus rhythm is generally unsuccessful. It may be speculated that higher heart rates are unfavorable, since this may lead to tachycardiomyopathy, but there are no data which have examined this.

Methods and results
Seventy-seven patients with atrial fibrillation and advanced chronic heart failure, age 70 ± 7 years, left-ventricular ejection fraction 0.23 ± 0.08, 61% with ischemic etiology were included. Patients were dichotomized according to the median heart rate (80 bpm) at inclusion (39 patients with “low” heart rate and 38 patients with “high” heart rate). At baseline, both patient groups were remarkably comparable. After a mean follow-up of 3.3 ± 0.9 years, mortality was comparable (62% versus 55%, p=non-significant). An independent relation was found between lower heart rate and survival, in addition to absence of hypertension, digoxin use, and higher N-ANP, dopamine, and renin levels.

In the present analysis, patients with atrial fibrillation and advanced chronic heart failure with higher heart rates are comparable to those with lower heart rates. Not higher heart rates at baseline but, on the contrary, lower heart rates seem associated with a worse outcome.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)95-100
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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