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Non-cardiac comorbidities in chronic heart failure
  1. Chim C Lang1,
  2. Donna M Mancini2
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor C C Lang
    Department of Cardiology, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK;c.c.lang{at}


Non-cardiac comorbidity complicates heart failure care and is prevalent in one form or another for the majority of elderly patients with heart failure. This wide range of comorbidities, which includes respiratory comorbidities, renal dysfunction, anaemia, arthritis, cognitive dysfunction and depression, contributes to the progression of the disease and may alter the response to treatment. Polypharmacy is inevitable in these patients. Cardiologists and other physicians caring for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) need to be vigilant to comorbid conditions that may complicate the care of these patients. Future trials should focus on optimal strategies for the comprehensive management of the elderly patients with CHF with multiple comorbidities rather than the isolated effects of single drugs in younger patients with few or no comorbidities.

  • BNP, brain natriuretic peptide
  • CHF, chronic heart failure
  • COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure
  • CSA, central sleep apnoea
  • HF, heart failure
  • NYHA, New York Heart Association
  • OSA, obstructive sleep apnoea
  • rHuEPO, recombinant human erythropoietin
  • SDB, sleep-disordered breathing
  • TNF, tumour necrosis factor

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  • Published Online First 17 February 2006

  • Competing interests: None.