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Med J Aust. 2010 Mar 15;192(6):306-10.

The effect of evidence-based medication use on long-term survival in patients hospitalised for heart failure in Western Australia.

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  • 1School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.



To examine trends and predictors of prescription medications on discharge after first (index) hospitalisation for heart failure (HF), and the effect on all-cause mortality of evidence-based therapy.


A retrospective multicentre cohort study, with medical record review.


Three tertiary-care hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.


WA Hospital Morbidity Data were used to identify a random sample of 1006 patients with an index admission to hospital for HF between 1996 and 2006.


Proportion of patients prescribed evidence-based therapy for HF on discharge from hospital; and 1-year all-cause mortality.


Among 944 patients surviving to hospital discharge, the prescription rate of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (74.3%) and loop diuretics (85.5%) remained high over the study period, whereas that of beta-blockers and spironolactone increased (10.5% to 51.3% and 1.4% to 23.3%, respectively), and digoxin prescription decreased (38.1% to 20.7%). The temporal trends in use of beta-blockers, spironolactone and digoxin were in line with clinical trial evidence. Age > or = 75 years was a significant, negative predictor of beta-blocker and spironolactone prescription. In-hospital echocardiography, performed in 53% of patients, was associated with a significantly greater likelihood of treatment with ACE inhibitors/ARBs, beta-blockers and spironolactone. Both ACE inhibitors/ARBs and beta-blockers prescribed on discharge were associated with a lower adjusted hazard ratio (HR) for mortality at 1-year (HR, 0.71; P = 0.003; and HR, 0.68; P = 0.002, respectively).


ACE inhibitors/ARBs and beta-blockers, prescribed during initial hospitalisation for HF, are associated with improved long-term survival. Therapy became more evidence based over the study period, but echocardiography, an important predictor of evidence-based therapy, was underutilised.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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