Activities of Daily Living and Outcomes in Patients with Advanced Heart Failure

Alexandria R. Roy, Jill M. Killian, Phillip J. Schulte, Véronique L. Roger, Shannon M. Dunlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Functional debility is associated with worse outcomes in the general heart failure population, but the prevalence of difficulty with activities of daily living and clinical significance once patients develop advanced heart failure requires further examination. Methods: This was a population-based, retrospective cohort study of Olmsted County, Minnesota adults with advanced heart failure from 2007-2018. Difficulty with 9 activities of daily living was assessed by questionnaire. Predictors of difficulty were assessed by a proportional odds model. Associations of difficulty with activities of daily living with mortality and hospitalization were examined using Cox and Andersen-Gill models. Results: Among 765 patients with advanced heart failure, 565 (73.9%) reported difficulty with activities of daily living at diagnosis. Of those, 257 (45%) had moderate and 148 (26%) had severe difficulty. Independent predictors of difficulty included female sex (odds ratio [OR] 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.26-2.36; P = .001), older age (OR per 10-year increase 1.17; 95% CI, 1.05-1.31; P = .005), dementia (OR 1.85; 95% CI, 1.06-3.24; P = .031), depression (OR 1.75; 95% CI, 1.28-2.40; P = .001), and morbid obesity (OR 1.49; 95% CI, 1.04-2.13; P = .031). Estimated 2-year mortality was 61.5%, 64.2%, and 67.6% in patients with no/minimal, moderate, and severe difficulty, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratios (95% CI) for death were 1.08 (0.90-1.28) and 1.17 (0.95-1.43) for moderate and severe difficulty, respectively, vs no/minimal difficulty (P = .33). There were no statistically significant associations of difficulty with activities of daily living and hospitalization risks. Conclusions: Most patients with advanced heart failure have difficulty completing activities of daily living and are at high risk of mortality regardless of impairment in activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1504.e2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Activities of daily living
  • Advanced heart failure
  • Disability
  • Functional impairment
  • Heart failure
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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