BACKGROUND: Many patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) are undiagnosed, and UK general practice registers do not typically record heart failure (HF) subtype. Improvements in management of HFpEF is dependent on improved identification and characterisation of patients in primary care. AIM: To describe a cohort of patients recruited from primary care with suspected HFpEF and compare patients in whom HFpEF was confirmed and refuted. DESIGN & SETTING: Baseline data from a longitudinal cohort study of patients with suspected HFpEF recruited from primary care in two areas of England. METHOD: A screening algorithm and review were used to find patients on HF registers without a record of reduced ejection fraction (EF). Baseline evaluation included cardiac, mental and physical function, clinical characteristics, and patient reported outcomes. Confirmation of HFpEF was clinically adjudicated by a cardiologist. RESULTS: In total, 93 (61%) of 152 patients were confirmed HFpEF. The mean age of patients with HFpEF was 79 years, 46% were female, 80% had hypertension, and 37% took ≥10 medications. Patients with HFpEF were more likely to be obese, pre-frail or frail, report more dyspnoea and fatigue, were more functionally impaired, and less active than patients in whom HFpEF was refuted. Few had attended cardiac rehabilitation. CONCLUSION: Patients with confirmed HFpEF had frequent multimorbidity, functional impairment, frailty, and polypharmacy. Although comorbid conditions were similar between people with and without HFpEF, the former had more obesity, symptoms, and worse physical function. These findings highlight the potential to optimise wellbeing through comorbidity management, medication rationalisation, rehabilitation, and supported self-management.
frailty, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, multimorbidity, primary health care