Author(s): Franco G, Biagio F, Battista ZG, De Simone A, Stabile G,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The prognosis of chronic heart failure (CHF) may be substantially improved by strict adherence to current therapeutic guidelines. AIM AND METHODS: To assess the adherence to current guidelines, 660 CHF patients consecutively referred to the ARCA (Associazioni Regionali Cardiologi Ambulatoriali Campania) cardiologists were evaluated. As indicators of adherence to the guidelines, we considered use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, loop diuretics, aldosterone antagonists, digoxin, anticoagulant therapy, and implantation of cardiac devices. RESULTS: The adherence to guidelines has been characterized in patients with reduced ejection fraction, who represent the majority in the ALERT-HF (Adherence to Guidelines in the Treatment of patients with Chronic Heart Failure) trial and in whom the current guidelines are well defined and shared. Among 528 patients affected by CHF with ejection fraction 45\% or less, 399 (75.6\%) were treated with a beta-blocker, 282 (53.4\%) received an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor and 199 (37.7\%) an angiotensin receptor blocker. Four hundred and sixty-nine patients (88.9\%) used loop diuretics, but only 163 patients (30.9\%) an aldosterone antagonist. Among 148 patients with atrial fibrillation, 95 (64.2\%) were treated with anticoagulants. As few as 31 patients received cardiac electrical stimulation devices: 10 patients were implanted with a cardioverter-defibrillator and 21 received a device for cardiac resynchronization therapy. CONCLUSION: The study reveals poor adherence to current therapeutic guidelines for CHF, particularly with regard to aldosterone antagonists and anticoagulant therapy in the presence of atrial fibrillation. Even poorer is the adherence to guidelines as regards the use of implantable cardiac devices. The underlying reasons are discussed in relation to the data of other registries.
This article was published in J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown)
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research