Heart failure associated with imported malaria: A nationwide Danish cohort study

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Aims Despite adequate treatment, recent studies have hypothesized that malaria may affect long-term cardiovascular function. We aimed to investigate the long-term risk of cardiovascular events and death in individuals with a history of imported malaria in Denmark.

Methods Using nationwide Danish registries, we followed individuals with a history of malaria for the risk of incident heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI), cardiovascular death and all-cause death (1 January 1994 to 1 January 2017). The population was age- and sex-matched with individuals without a history of malaria from the Danish population (ratio 1:9). We excluded patients with known HF and ischaemic heart disease at inclusion.

Results We identified 3912 cases with a history of malaria (mean age 33 +/- 17 years, 57% male, 41% Plasmodium falciparum infections). The median follow-up was 9.8 years (interquartile range 3.9-16.4 years). Event rates per 1000 person-years for individuals with a history vs. no history of malaria were HF: 1.84 vs. 1.32; MI: 1.28 vs. 1.30; cardiovascular death: 1.40 vs. 1.77; and all-cause death: 5.04 vs. 5.28. In Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors, concomitant pharmacotherapy, region of origin, household income and educational level, malaria was associated with HF (HR: 1.59 [1.21-2.09], P = 0.001), but not MI (HR: 1.00 [0.72-1.39], P = 1.00), cardiovascular death (HR: 1.00 [0.74-1.35], P = 0.98) or all-cause death (HR 1.11 [0.94-1.30], P = 0.21). Specifically, P. falciparum infection was associated with increased risk of HF (HR: 1.64 [1.14-2.36], P = 0.008).

Conclusion Individuals with a history of imported malaria, specifically P. falciparum, may have an increased risk of incident HF.

TidsskriftESC heart failure
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)3521-3529
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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