A seven point system that looks at age, dementia and heart disease can gauge how long patients with heart failure will live, a new study shows.
US researchers followed 282 elderly patients with heart failure for 14 years and found patients with four or more of the seven risk factors had a low probability of surviving longer than six months.
But if patients had none or just one of the factors, they had a good chance of living for five years or more. Patients with two to three factors were likely to live at least a year.
The points system is being used to help clinicians decide how aggressively to treat patients and to identify those would benefit most from palliative care, the authors add.
The seven factors are:
- advanced age
- a history of dementia
- coronary artery disease
- peripheral vascular disease
- low sodium blood level in the blood
- high urea blood level
- low blood pressure
Archives of Internal Medicine (2006) 166:1892-1898