CoQ10 improves outcomes in heart failure patients

November 28 2014

by Emily Ryan

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This randomized controlled trial looked at the use of CoenzymeQ10 as an add-on therapy in patients with chronic heart failure. They found that Long-term CoQ10 treatment of patients with chronic heart failure is safe, improves symptoms, and reduces major adverse cardiovascular events. This adds to a previous body of evidence showing benefit.

This study should change the standard of care for heart failure patients in that Coenzyme Q10 should be used as an add-on therapy. This study used the ubiquinone rather than ubiquinol form of CoQ10.

The Effect of Coenzyme Q10 on Morbidity and Mortality in Chronic Heart Failure: Results From Q-SYMBIO: A Randomized Double-Blind Trial

Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, Dolliner P, Filipiak KJ, Pella D, Alehagen U, Steurer G, Littarru GP; Q-SYMBIO Study Investigators.

JACC Heart Fail. 2014 Sep 25. pii: S2213-1779(14)00336-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2014.06.008. [Epub ahead of print]


This randomized controlled multicenter trial evaluated coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as adjunctive treatment in chronic heart failure (HF).

CoQ10 is an essential cofactor for energy production and is also a powerful antioxidant. A low level of myocardial CoQ10 is related to the severity of HF. Previous randomized controlled trials of CoQ10 in HF were underpowered to address major clinical endpoints.

Patients with moderate to severe HF were randomly assigned in a 2-year prospective trial to either CoQ10 100 mg 3 times daily or placebo, in addition to standard therapy. The primary short-term endpoints at 16 weeks were changes in New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional classification, 6-min walk test, and levels of N-terminal pro-B type natriuretic peptide. The primary long-term endpoint at 2 years was composite major adverse cardiovascular events as determined by a time to first event analysis.

A total of 420 patients were enrolled. There were no significant changes in short-term endpoints. The primary long-term endpoint was reached by 15% of the patients in the CoQ10 group versus 26% in the placebo group (hazard ratio: 0.50; 95% confidence interval: 0.32 to 0.80; p = 0.003) by intention-to-treat analysis. The following secondary endpoints were significantly lower in the CoQ10 group compared with the placebo group: cardiovascular mortality (9 % vs. 16%, p = 0.026), all-cause mortality (10 % vs. 18%, p = 0.018), and incidence of hospital stays for HF (p = 0.033). In addition, a significant improvement of NYHA class was found in the CoQ10 group after 2 years (p = 0.028).

Long-term CoQ10 treatment of patients with chronic HF is safe, improves symptoms, and reduces major adverse cardiovascular events.
(Coenzyme Q10 as adjunctive treatment of chronic heart failure: a randomized, double-blind, multi-center trial with focus on SYMptoms, BIomarker status [Brain-Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)], and long-term Outcome [hospitalisations/mortality]; ISRCTN94506234).

PMID: 25282031