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Med Clin (Barc). 2002 May 4;118(16):605-10.

[Heart failure in internal medicine departments].

[Article in Spanish]



The profile of patients with heart failure varies according to the healthcare setting and specialty. A national survey was carried out by the Working Group on Heart Failure of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine in order to define the profile of patients with heart failure hospitalized in Spanish Internal Medicine Departments.


National registry including 51 hospitals all over Spain and 2145 patients suffering from this pathology.


Patients' median age was 77.2 years, 57.3% women and 42.7% men. There was a high percentage of illiteracy and low cultural level among patients (58.9%). In addition, many patients were found to have impaired physical and/or cognitive functions (67.4%). There was also a high incidence of related illnesses. Hypertension was the most frequent cause of heart failure. Echocardiography was performed in less than a quarter of patients and left ventricular ejection fraction was greater than 45% in more than a half (53.7%). At discharge, diuretics were the mostly prescribed drugs (92.5%). Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were prescribed in 66.1% patients (73.4% in patients with known systolic dysfunction) and beta-blockers in 9.8% (12.3% in patients with known systolic dysfunction).


In Spain, patients hospitalized for heart failure in Internal Medicine Departments use to be elderly women with preserved left ventricular systolic function, low cultural level and physically handicapped. This profile is pretty different from that reported in published clinical trials.Therefore, we should consider the most appropriate management of these patients with regard to treatment, hospitalization and follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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