WASHINGTON — Body temperature below 36° C at hospital admission was independently associated with a lower survival rate in a study of 56,659 patients with advanced heart failure.
Disordered thermoregulation is common in patients with advanced heart failure, and body temperature measurements may improve risk assessment in these patients, Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, M.D., wrote in a poster presented at the Clinical Research 2005 meeting sponsored by the American Federation for Medical Research.
Dr. Nallamothu, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his associates reviewed data on patients aged 65 years and older who were participating in the National Heart Care Project.
The mean body temperature upon hospital admission was 36.5° C, and most of the patients' admission temperatures were between 36° C and 38° C. However, 10,754 (18.5%) of the patients had body temperatures below 36° C and 1,145 (1.9%) had body temperatures above 38° C.
After multivariate analysis, patients with body temperatures below 36° C had significantly higher mortality, both in hospital (adjusted risk ratio, 1.28) and at 1 year after their hospitalizations (adjusted risk ratio, 1.14). Body temperatures above 38° C were not significantly associated with in-hospital mortality, but they were significantly associated with lower mortality after 1 year (adjusted risk ratio, 0.80).