Octogenarians represent the most rapidly expanding population segment in Europe. The prevalence of heart failure (HF) in this group exceeds 10%. We assessed changes in clinical characteristics, therapy, and 1-year outcomes over 2 decades in chronic HF outpatients aged ≥ 80 years enrolled in a nationwide cardiology registry.
We included 2520 octogenarians with baseline echocardiographic ejection fraction measurements and available 1-year follow-up, who were recruited at 138 HF outpatient clinics (21% of national hospitals with cardiology units), across 3 enrolment periods (1999-2005, 2006-2011, 2012-2018).
At recruitment, over the 3 study periods, there was an increase in age, body mass index, ejection fraction, the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, pre-existing hypertension, and atrial fibrillation history. The proportion of patients with preserved ejection fraction rose from 19.4% to 32.7% (P for trend <.0001). Markers of advanced disease became less prevalent. Prescription of beta-blockers and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists increased over time. During the 1-year follow-up, 308 patients died (12.2%) and 360 (14.3%) were admitted for cardiovascular causes; overall, 591 (23.5%) met the combined primary endpoint of all-cause mortality or cardiovascular hospitalization. On adjusted multivariable analysis, enrolment in 2006 to 2011 (HR, 0.70; 95%CI, 0.55-0.90; P=.004) and 2012 to 2018 (HR, 0.61; 95%CI, 0.47-0.79; P=.0002) carried a lower risk of the primary outcome than recruitment in 1999 to 2005.
Among octogenarians, over 2 decades, risk factor prevalence increased, management strategies improved, and survival remained stable, but the proportion hospitalized for cardiovascular causes declined. Despite increasing clinical complexity, in cardiology settings the burden of hospitalizations in the oldest old with chronic HF is declining.

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