Quality of life and chronic heart failure therapy guided by natriuretic peptides: results from the ProBNP Outpatient Tailored Chronic Heart Failure Therapy (PROTECT) study

Anju Bhardwaj, Shafiq U Rehman, Asim A Mohammed, Hanna K Gaggin, Linda Barajas, Justine Barajas, Stephanie A Moore, Dorothy Sullivan, James L Januzzi
American Heart Journal 2012, 164 (5): 793-799.e1

BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) treatment guided by amino-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) may reduce cardiovascular event rates compared to standard-of-care (SOC) management. Comprehensive understanding regarding effect of NT-proBNP guided care on patient-reported quality of life (QOL) remains unknown.

METHODS: One hundred fifty-one subjects with HF due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction were randomized to either SOC HF management or care with a goal to reduce NT-proBNP values ≤1000 pg/mL. Effects of HF on QOL were assessed using the Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire (MLHFQ) quarterly, with change (Δ) in score assessed across study procedures and as a function of outcome.

RESULTS: Overall, baseline MLHFQ score was 30. Across study visits, QOL improved in both arms, but was more improved and sustained in the NT-proBNP arm (repeated measures P = .01); NT-proBNP patients showing greater reduction in MLHFQ score (-10.0 vs -5.0; P = .05), particularly in the physical scale of the questionnaire. Baseline MLHFQ scores did not correlate with NT-proBNP; in contrast, ∆MLHFQ scores modestly correlated with ∆NT-proBNP values (ρ = .234; P = .006) as did relative ∆ in MLHFQ score and NT-proBNP (ρ = .253; P = .003). Considered in tertiles, less improvement in MLHFQ scores was associated with a higher rate of HF hospitalization, worsening HF, and cardiovascular death (P = .001).

CONCLUSIONS: We describe novel associations between NT-proBNP concentrations and QOL scores among patients treated with biomarker guided care. Compared to SOC HF management, NT-proBNP guided care was associated with greater and more sustained improvement in QOL (Clinical Trial Registration: www.clinicaltrials.govNCT00351390).

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