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Isr Med Assoc J. 2008 Mar;10(3):214-8.

Use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in patients with congestive heart failure: an observational study of treatment rates and clinical outcome.

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  • 1Heart Institute, Hadassah University Hospital and Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel. igotsman@bezeqint.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers improve prognosis in congestive heart failure and are the treatment of choice in these patients. Despite this, the rates of ACE-I usage in heart failure patients remain low in clinical practice.

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the rate of ACE-I/ARB treatment in hospitalized patients with CHF, and analyze the reasons for non-treatment.

METHODS:

We prospectively evaluated 362 consecutive patients hospitalized with CHF. Patients were evaluated for ACE-I/ARB usage at discharge and were followed for 1 year.

RESULTS:

At hospital discharge 70% of the patients were prescribed ACE-I/ARB treatment. Only 69% received recommended target or sub-target dosages, proven to improve prognosis. This decreased to 63% and 59% at 6 months and 12 months of follow-up respectively, due to a shift from sub-target levels to low dosages. Justified reasons for under-treatment were apparent in only 25% not optimally treated discharged patients and this decreased to 12% and 4% at 6 and 12 months follow-up, respectively. Common reasons for non-treatment at discharge were hyperkalemia and elevation in serum creatinine, while hypotension and cough were more prominent at follow-up. Clinical parameters associated with increased treatment rates were ischemic heart disease and the absence of chronic renal failure. Patients receiving treatment had lower hospitalization and mortality rates.

CONCLUSIONS:

ACE-I/ARB treatment is still underutilized in patients discharged from hospital with a diagnosis of CHF. Increasing the awareness of the importance of these drugs may increase the number of patients treated.

PMID:
18494235
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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