Rapid declines in spirometric measures of lung function were associated with higher risks of cardiovascular disease, according to a recent analysis of a large, prospective cohort study.
Rapid declines in forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) were associated with increased incidence of heart failure, stroke, and death in the analysis of the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study.
The risk of incident heart failure among FEV1 rapid decliners was particularly high, with a fourfold increase within 12 months. That suggests clinicians should carefully consider incipient heart failure in patients with rapid changes in FEV1, investigators reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Rapid declines in forced vital capacity (FVC) were also associated with higher incidences of heart failure and death in the analysis by Odilson M. Silvestre, MD, of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, and colleagues.
The analysis included a total of 10,351 ARIC participants with a mean follow-up of 17 years. All had undergone spirometry at the first study visit between 1987 and 1989, and on the second visit between 1990 and 1992.
One-quarter of participants were classified as FEV1 rapid decliners, defined by an FEV1 decrease of at least 1.9% per year. Likewise, one-quarter of participants were classified as FVC rapid decliners, based on an FVC decrease of at least 2.1%.
Rapid decline in FEV1 was associated with a higher risk of incident heart failure (hazard ratio, 1.17; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.33; P = .010), and was most prognostic in the first year of follow-up (HR, 4.22; 95% CI, 1.34-13.26; P = .01), investigators said.
Rapid decline in FVC was likewise associated with a greater heart failure risk (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.12-1.44; P less than .001).
Increased heart failure risk persisted after excluding patients with incident coronary heart disease in both the FEV1 and FVC rapid decliners, the investigators said.
A rapid decline in FEV1 was also associated with a higher stroke risk (HR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.04-1.50; P = .015).
FEV1 rapid decliners had a higher overall rate of incident cardiovascular disease than those without rapid decline, even after adjustment for baseline variables such as age, sex, race, body mass index, and heart rate (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.04-1.26; P = .004), and FVC rapid decliners likewise had a 19% greater risk of the composite endpoint (HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.32; P less than .001).
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, and other sources supported the study. Dr. Silvestre reported having no relevant conflicts.
SOURCE: Silvestre OM et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2018 Sep 4;72(10):1109-22.