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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Geriatrics 1/2018

Predictive biomarkers for death and rehospitalization in comorbid frail elderly heart failure patients

BMC Geriatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Cristina Pacho, Mar Domingo, Raquel Núñez, Josep Lupón, Julio Núñez, Jaume Barallat, Pedro Moliner, Marta de Antonio, Javier Santesmases, Germán Cediel, Santiago Roura, M. Cruz Pastor, Jordi Tor, Antoni Bayes-Genis
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12877-018-0807-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Heart failure (HF) is associated with a high rate of readmissions within 30 days post-discharge and in the following year, especially in frail elderly patients. Biomarker data are scarce in this high-risk population. This study assessed the value of early post-discharge circulating levels of ST2, NT-proBNP, CA125, and hs-TnI for predicting 30-day and 1-year outcomes in comorbid frail elderly patients with HF with mainly preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).


Blood samples were obtained at the first visit shortly after discharge (4.9 ± 2 days). The primary endpoint was the composite of all-cause mortality or HF-related rehospitalization at 30 days and at 1 year. All-cause mortality alone at one year was also a major endpoint. HF-related rehospitalizations alone were secondary end-points.


From February 2014 to November 2016, 522 consecutive patients attending the STOP-HF Clinic were included (57.1% women, age 82 ± 8.7 years, mean Barthel index 70 ± 25, mean Charlson comorbidity index 5.6 ± 2.2). The composite endpoint occurred in 8.6% patients at 30 days and in 38.5% at 1 year. In multivariable analysis, ST2 [hazard ratio (HR) 1.53; 95% CI 1.19–1.97; p = 0.001] was the only predictive biomarker at 30 days; at 1 year, both ST2 (HR 1.34; 95% CI 1.15–1.56; p < 0.001) and NT-proBNP (HR 1.19; 95% CI 1.02–1.40; p = 0.03) remained significant. The addition of ST2 and NT-proBNP into a clinical predictive model increased the AUC from 0.70 to 0.75 at 30 days (p = 0.02) and from 0.71 to 0.74 at 1 year (p < 0.05). For all-cause death at 1 year, ST2 (HR 1.50; 95% CI 1.26–1.80; p < 0.001), and CA125 (HR 1.41; 95% CI 1.21–1.63; p < 0.001) remained independent predictors in multivariable analysis. The addition of ST2 and CA125 into a clinical predictive model increased the AUC from 0.74 to 0.78 (p = 0.03). For HF-related hospitalizations, ST2 was the only predictive biomarker in multivariable analyses, both at 30 days and at 1 year.


In a comorbid frail elderly population with HFpEF, ST2 outperformed NT-proBNP for predicting the risk of all-cause mortality or HF-related rehospitalization. ST2, a surrogate marker of inflammation and fibrosis, may be a better predictive marker in high-risk HFpEF.
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