Aims: Asymptomatic patients with structural heart diseases are classified as a population at high risk for heart failure (HF) in Stage B. However, limited data are available regarding incidence and related factors of de-novo HF (DNHF) considering competing risk in this population. Methods and results: In 3362 Stage B patients (mean age 68 yrs, male 76%) from the CHART-2 Study (N = 10,219), we examined incidence of death and DNHF, defined as the first episode of either HF hospitalization or HF death, and factors related to DNHF. Results: During the median 6.0-year follow-up, 627 deaths (31/1000 person-years) and 293 DNHF (15/1000 person-years) occurred. Among the 627 deaths, 212 (34%) and 325 (52%) were specified as cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular deaths, respectively. During the follow-up of 271 DNHF hospitalizations, we observed 124 deaths, including 65 (52%) cardiovascular and 47 (40%) non-cardiovascular deaths. The competing risk model showed that age, diabetes mellitus, stroke, atrial fibrillation, diastolic blood pressure, hemoglobin levels, estimated glomerular filtration ratio and left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly associated with DNHF. Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that many of these cardiac and non-cardiac variables contribute to DNHF by affecting each other, while diabetes mellitus was independently associated with DNHF. Conclusions: Stage B patients had a high incidence of DNHF as well as that of death due to both cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular causes. Thus, management of Stage B patients should include multidisciplinary approaches considering both cardiac and non-cardiac factors, in order to prevent DNHF as well as non-HF death as a competing risk. Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00418041.
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