Research Article

Predictors of Cardiac Cachexia among Jordanian Chronic Heart Failure Patients

Author: Ahmad K Al-Omari

Background: Cardiac cachexia is considered as an ominous complication that possibly associated with the terminal stages of chronic heart failure (CHF) as it consumes the protein-calories reserves of the patients. Cardiac cachexia still poorly understood as a result of complex pathophysiology and its treatment modalities; even of the growing incidence and the devastating pathological consequences. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the most significant predictors of cardiac cachexia in Jordanian chronic heart failure patients. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed in the study. A convenient sample of 300 chronic heart failure patients was recruited from accessible chronic heart failure patients who regularly visit the cardiac care clinics at two different selected hospitals that represent two different major health sectors in Jordan. A self-developed instrument was used to collect the data for the purpose of this study. Results: Stepwise regression analysis was conducted to determine whether the interaction of different sociodemographic variables of chronic heart failure patients contributed significantly to the total cardiac cachexia score. The most significant predictors of cardiac cachexia are: age, New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification of heart failure, hospital type, chronic diseases that the participating chronic heart failure patients suffer from, and level of education. These variables explained 65.8% of the variance in the total cachexia score. Conclusion: Cardiac cachexia has not been widely measured and studied yet world widely. The findings of this study can be used as a baseline data about the predictors of cardiac cachexia and the roles of the sociodemographic characteristics among Jordanian chronic heart failure patients since this study is the first of its kind conducted to examine cardiac cachexia at the national and even regional level. In addition, this study can be useful for determining effective therapeutic modalities that can be employed on behalf of those patients among the health care team; particularly nurses.