The usefulness of low relative lymphocyte count as an independent predictor of death/urgent transplant in patients with heart failure (HF) and the association between low relative lymphocyte count and neurohormone and cytokine activation were investigated. Relative lymphocyte count, clinical variables, neurohormones, and cytokines were measured in 129 outpatients with HF. Follow-up extended to a mean of 3.0 +/- 1.2 years for death/urgent transplant. Low relative lymphocyte count was independently associated with a 3.4-fold increased risk of death/urgent transplant. Relative lymphocyte count was positively associated with hemoglobin and inversely associated with age, jugular venous pressure, creatinine, leukocyte count, and soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1. There was only a borderline inverse association with cortisol levels during evening hours.
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