Interleukin-6 Could Be a Potential Prognostic Factor in Ambulatory Elderly Patients with Stable Heart Failure: Results from a Pilot Study

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Introduction: Inflammation is a fundamental phenomenon in heart failure, but the prognostic or therapeutic role of markers such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) has not yet been clarified. The objective of this study is to describe the clinical profile of patients with elevated IL-6 and determine if they have worse clinical outcomes. Methods: A retrospective c.ohort observational study including 78 patients with heart failure followed up at the Heart Failure Outpatient Clinic of the Internal Medicine Department. IL-6 was determined in all patients, who were then assigned into two groups according to IL-6 level (normal or high). Clinical and prognostic data were collected to determine the differences in both groups. Results: The average age was 79 years, 60% female. A total of 53.8% of the patients had elevated IL-6 (group 2). Patients with elevated IL-6 presented more frequently with anemia mellitus (64.3% vs. 41.7%; p = 0.046), atrial fibrillation (83.3% vs. 61.9% p = 0.036), dyslipidemia (76.2% vs. 58.2%; p = 0.03), higher creatinine levels (1.35 mg/dL vs. 1.08 mg/dL; p = 0.024), lower glomerular filtration rate (43.6 mL/min/m2 vs. 59.9 mL/min/m2; p = 0.007), and anemia 25% vs. 52.4% p = 0.014. The factors independently associated with the increase in IL-6 were anemia 3.513 (1.163–10.607) and renal failure 0.963 (0.936–0.991), p < 0.05. Mortality was higher in the group with elevated IL-6 levels (16% vs. 2%; p = 0.044) with a log-rank p = 0.027 in the Kaplan–Meier curve. Conclusion: Patients with heart failure and elevated IL-6 most often have atrial fibrillation, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, anemia, and renal failure. In addition, mortality was higher and a tendency of higher hospital admission was observed in stable HF patients with elevated IL-6.