Declining Lung Function and Cardiovascular Risk: The ARIC Study

Academic Article


  • © 2018 American College of Cardiology Foundation Background: Pulmonary dysfunction predicts incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether longitudinal decline in lung function is associated with incident heart failure (HF), coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke. Methods: Among 10,351 participants in the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) study free of CVD, rapid lung function decline was defined as the greatest quartile (n = 2,585) of decline in either forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (>1.9% decline/year) or forced vital capacity (FVC) (>2.1% decline/year) over 2.9 ± 0.2 years. The relationship between rapid decline in FEV1 or FVC and subsequent incident HF, CHD, stroke, or a composite of these was assessed using multivariable Cox regression adjusting for the baseline spirometry value, demographics, height, body mass index, heart rate, diabetes, hypertension, low-density lipoprotein, use of lipid-lowering medication, N-terminal fragment of prohormone for B-type natriuretic peptide, and smoking. Results: The mean age was 54 ± 6 years, 56% were women, and 81% were white. At 17 ± 6 years of follow-up, HF occurred in 14%, CHD 11%, stroke 6%, and the composite in 24%. Rapid decline in FEV1 and in FVC were both associated with a heightened risk of incident HF (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04 to 1.33; p = 0.010; and HR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.12 to 1.44; p < 0.001; respectively), with rapid decline in FEV1 most prognostic in the first year of follow-up (HR: 4.22; 95% CI: 1.34 to 13.26; p = 0.01). Rapid decline in FEV1 was also associated with incident stroke (HR: 1.25; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.50; p = 0.015). Conclusions: A rapid decline in lung function, assessed by serial spirometry, is associated with a higher incidence of subsequent CVD, particularly incident HF.
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    Author List

  • Silvestre OM; Nadruz W; Querejeta Roca G; Claggett B; Solomon SD; Mirabelli MC; London SJ; Loehr LR; Shah AM
  • Start Page

  • 1109
  • End Page

  • 1122
  • Volume

  • 72
  • Issue

  • 10