Subclinical impairment of lung function is related to mild cardiac dysfunction and manifest heart failure in the general population

  • BACKGROUND: Lung function impairment has previously been related to heart failure, although no overt cardiovascular or structural heart disease is present. The extent to which pulmonary function is related to subclinical left ventricular impairment in the general population remains to be investigated.

    METHODS: 15010 individuals from the general population (mean age 55±11years, 50.5% men) in the Gutenberg Health Study underwent spirometry, transthoracic echocardiography and biomarker measurement. Forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) in percent of the predicted value and FEV1/FVC ratio were associated with echocardiographic measures of cardiac structure, systolic and diastolic function, biomarkers of cardiac necrosis (high-sensitive troponin I, hsTnI) and stress (N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, Nt-proBNP) and heart failure with preserved (HFpEF) and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).

    RESULTS: Percent predicted FEV1 and FVC were significantly associated with hsTnI (P<0.001) and Nt-proBNP (P<0.001). Additionally, FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly related to hsTnI (P=0.0043) and Nt-proBNP (P<0.001). In the multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses strongest associations were observed for percent predicted FEV1 and FVC with LVESD, E/e', SV and EF. FEV1/FVC ratio was significantly related with SV and EF. The three lung function parameters were significantly (P<0.001) associated with HFpEF and HFrEF. Associations remained statistically significant after exclusion of individuals with COPD.

    CONCLUSIONS: FEV1, FVC and FEV1/FVC ratio were associated with systolic and diastolic function and manifest heart failure. Our observations could show, that subclinical lung function impairment is related to a measurable reduction of left ventricular filling and cardiac output in the general population.

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