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Am J Cardiol. 2010 Jan 15;105(2):255-60. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.08.681.

Adherence to guideline-recommended adjunctive heart failure therapies among outpatient cardiology practices (findings from IMPROVE HF).

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  • 1Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA. clydey@baylorhealth.edu

Abstract

Although previous studies have documented adherence with certain established heart failure (HF) quality metrics in outpatient cardiology practices, the extent to which there is conformity with other evidence-based, guideline-driven quality metrics in outpatients with HF is unknown. IMPROVE HF is a prospective cohort study designed to characterize the current management of patients with chronic HF and left ventricular ejection fraction <or=35% in outpatient cardiology practices. We evaluated baseline data for conformity with adjunctive HF therapies including pneumococcal vaccinization, hydralazine/isosorbide dinitrate (HYD/ISDN) for Black patients, statin therapy, antiplatelet therapy, smoking-cessation counseling, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (<100 mg/dl), and systolic blood pressure decrease (all patients <140 mm Hg or [optimal] <130 mm Hg). Baseline data were available for 15,381 patients attending 167 cardiology practices. Patient characteristics included a median age 70 years, 71.0% men, 9.1% Black patients, 65.2% with ischemic HF cause, and 61.7% with a history of hypertension. Mean adherences or documentations of adherence were only 7.3% for HYD/ISDN and 1.0% for pneumococcal vaccination. Adherence to other adjunctive therapies ranged from 27.4% to 82.0% but none of the adjunctive treatment interventions were associated with high levels of adherence. Conformity with guideline-recommended, adjunctive HF therapies is deficient in the management of outpatients with HF. Critical gaps in documentation or delivery of care exist, especially for the use of pneumococcal vaccination and HYD/ISDN. In conclusion, improved processes of care, better documentation, and/or increased measures to promote adherence to all primary and adjunctive therapies for HF are needed.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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