Triple therapy at discharge from internal medicine wards in heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction: results from an observational study
Guidelines recommend triple therapy (TT) with ACE inhibitors or ARBs, beta-blockers and mineralcorticoid receptor antagonists in symptomatic heart failure patients with ejection fraction < 35 % (HFrEF). Nevertheless, many patients remain untreated. This study was aimed to evaluate the use of TT in HFrEF patients discharged from internal medicine wards of Tuscany, Italy.
Methods and Results
We analyzed the database of a multicenter observational study which included 770 patients consecutively hospitalized for HF in 32out of 36 Internal Medicine Units of Tuscany, Italy. The value of ejection fraction was available in 490 of the 725 patients discharged alive. Of the 117 patients with HFrEF, only 46 (39.3%) were on TT at discharge while 71 (60.7%) were not. In the latter group we observed a significantly greater percentage of patients with cognitive deficit (25.3% vs 10.8%, p=0.05). In the same group there was a slightly greater percentage of patients with hypertension (61.9% vs 58.6%), diabetes (43.6% vs 36.9%), GFR<60 ml/min (74.6% vs 67.3%), anemia (52.1% vs 45.6%) and atrial fibrillation (40.8% vs 34.7%), but the differences were not statistically significant.
These results indicate that TT is underutilized in internal medicine wards of Tuscany. Untreated patients had a greater rate of cognitive deficit and were probably sicker, more complex and fragile