AIMS: The objective of the current study is to investigate the risk of heart failure (HF) after implantation of a pacemaker (PM) with a right ventricular pacing (RVP) lead in comparison to a matched cohort without a PM and factors associated with this risk.
METHODS AND RESULTS: All patients without a known history of HF who had a PM implanted with an RVP lead between 2000 and 2014 (n = 27 704) were identified using Danish nationwide registries. An age- and gender-matched control cohort (matched 1:5, n = 138 520) without PM and HF was identified to compare the risk. Outcome was the cumulative incidence of HF including fatal HF within the first 2 years of PM implantation, with all-cause mortality and myocardial infarction (MI) as competing risks. Due to violation of proportional hazards, the follow-up period was divided into three time-intervals: <30 days, 30-180 days, and >180 days-2 years. The cumulative incidence of HF including fatal HF was observed in 2937 (10.6%) PM patients. Risks for the three time-intervals were <30 days [hazard ratio (HR) 5.98, 95% CI 5.19-6.90], 30-180 days (HR 1.84, 95% CI 1.71-1.98), and >180 days (HR 1.11, 95% CI 1.04-1.17). Among patients with a PM device, factors associated with increased risk of HF were male sex (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.24-1.43), presence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) (HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.29-2.09), and prior MI (1.77, 95% 1.50-2.09).
CONCLUSIONS: Pacemaker with an RVP lead is strongly associated with risk of HF specifically within the first 6 months. Patients with antecedent history of MI and CKD had substantially increased risk.