Characteristics of heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction in black South African patients

M. van Hoogland-van Heerden*, L. H. Böhmer, O. Heyneke, T. Lechaba, L. Scott, G. Norton, A. Woodiwiss, P. Mntla, O. H.I. Majane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) is common in the elderly (≥75 years) and associated with arterial stiffness. The mean age of HFpEF presentation is lower (40–55 years) in sub-Saharan Africa. No clinical study has been conducted on HFpEF in identifying and characterising this phenotype at a younger age, moreover in a South African black population where the risk of HFpEF is two times higher than in other ethnic groups. This study investigated the characteristics of HFpEF in a black South African population, the biochemical markers that predict HFpEF and cardiac structural changes in this HF phenotype. Methods: Sixty-six participants with HFpEF and 213 controls were enrolled. All participants gave informed consent and completed a standardised questionnaire. Echocardiographic, anthropometric, central haemodynamic measurements, pulse wave velocity (PWV) and biomarker analysis were done. Results: The mean age of HFpEF participants was 54.88 ± 13.51 years. Most of the participants (76 %) were between 20 and 64 years, while only 24 % were older. HFpEF participants were hypertensive, and more obese with increased incidence of alcohol consumption. PWV was increased in HFpEF (9.97 ± 2.78 m/s) when compared to participants without HFpEF (6.11 ± 2.18 m/s), p < 0.0001. There were no significant associations between central haemodynamic parameters, N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (p = 0.9746), and galectin-3 (p = 0.2166). NT-proBNP, but not galectin-3, was associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (p = 0.0002) and left atrial diameter (p = 0.0005). Conclusion: HFpEF in South Africa is predominant in obese young to middle-age individuals with arterial stiffness and who consume alcohol regularly. NT-proBNP could be used to diagnose HFpEF, however, should be interpreted with caution in populations with a high prevalence of obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101408
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Biomarkers
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Haemodynamics
  • Heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction
  • Hypertension
  • Risk factors


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