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heart failure, hospitalization, inflammation, mortality, sex



  1. Saleh, Zyad T. PhD
  2. Alraoush, Ahmad T.
  3. Aqel, Ahmad A. PhD, RN
  4. Shawashi, Tagreed O. MSN, RN
  5. Chung, Misook PhD, RN
  6. Lennie, Terry A. PhD, FAAN


Background: Heart failure (HF) is associated with chronic inflammation, which is adversely associated with survival. Although sex-related differences in inflammation have been described in patients with HF, whether sex-related differences in inflammation are associated with event-free survival has not been examined.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine whether the association between inflammation as indicated by tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] and event-free survival differs between men and women with HF after controlling for demographic and clinical variables.


Method: This was a secondary analysis of data from 301 male (age, 61.0 +/- 11.4 years) and 137 female (age, 60.3 +/- 12.1 years) patients with HF. Serum levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 were used to indicate inflammatory status. Patients were grouped according to median split of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 level and sex into male with low inflammation (<=1820 pg/mL) (n = 158) or high inflammation (>1820 pg/mL) (n = 143), and female with low inflammation (n = 63) or high inflammation (n = 74). Cox regression models were run separately for men and women to determine whether inflammation contributed to differences in event-free survival between sexes with HF.


Results: There were 84 male (27.9%) and 27 female (19.7%) patients who had an event. Event-free survival in women did not differ by the severity of inflammation in the Cox regression analysis. In contrast, men with high inflammation had 1.85 times higher risk for an event compared with men with low inflammation.


Conclusion: These data provide evidence that inflammation contributed to differences in event-free survival in men but not women with HF. Clinicians should be aware that men who have higher inflammation may be at a greater risk of HF or cardiac-related events than others with HF.