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Assessing the Accuracy of Self-Reported HF

J Card Fail; ePub 2017 Sep 8; Camplain, et al

Agreement of self-reported heart failure (HF) with physician diagnosed HF is poor, and self-reports of HF are best confirmed by diagnostic tests or medical records, a new study found. Participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (aged 60-83 years) were asked annually whether a physician indicated they have HF. For those self-reporting HF, physicians were asked to confirm their patient’s HF status. Physician diagnosed HF included surveillance of hospitalized HF, and hospitalized and outpatient HF. Researchers found:

  • Compared to physician diagnosed HF, sensitivity of self-report was low (28-38%) and specificity was high (96-97%).
  • Agreement was poor and increased when adjusted for prevalence and bias.
  • Prevalence of HF measured by self-report (9.0%), ARIC-classified hospitalizations (11.2%), or administrative hospitalization claims (12.7%) were similar.

The authors stressed that there is a need for improved awareness and understanding of HF by patients.


Camplain R, Kucharska-Newton A, Loehr L, et al. Accuracy of self-reported heart failure. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. [Published online ahead of print September 8, 2017]. J Card Fail. doi:10.1016/j.cardfail.2017.09.002.

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