We aimed to conduct the largest study evaluating the impact of cardiac troponin (TnI) status on mid- and long-term mortality in patients admitted for acute heart failure (AHF) as compared between patients with ischemic (IHF) vs. non-ischemic heart failure (non-IHF). Among 5625 patients from the Korea Acute Heart Failure (KorAHF) registry, 4396 eligible patients with TnI measurement were analyzed. The patients were included on admission with the diagnosis of AHF, and TnI level was measured on the day of admission. A TnI value of <0.05 ng/mL was considered normal. The patients were divided into four groups according to the etiology of heart failure and the status of TnI: Non-IHF with normal TnI (n = 1009) vs. non-IHF with elevated TnI (n = 1665) vs. IHF with normal TnI (n = 258) vs. IHF with elevated TnI (n = 1464). The primary outcome was death from all causes according to the etiology (non-IHF vs. IHF) and TnI elevation during the entire follow-up period of 784 days (IQR 446-1116). Elevation of TnI was observed in 71.2% of all patients with AHF. Patients with IHF had higher all-cause mortality compared to those with non-IHF. Elevated TnI was associated with higher 90-day and post-90-day mortality in the non-IHF group. IHF as compared to non-IHF and elevation of TnI were independent predictors of mortality also in the adjustment analysis. In the IHF group, however, elevated TnI had a higher mortality with only 90-day follow-up (18.6% vs. 25.9%, log-rank p < 0.001), not in the post-90-day follow-up (31.1% vs. 32.5%, log-rank p = 0.799). In conclusion, elevated TnI in patients with heart failure is associated with increased all-cause mortality regardless of the etiology of HF. Elevation of TnI was associated to a higher post-90 day mortality in patients with non-IHF but not in patients with IHF.
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