Managed care patients with heart failure: spectrum of ventricular dysfunction and predictors of medication utilization.J Card Fail 2005; 11(2):106-11JC
Heart failure (HF) is a common clinical syndrome resulting in high morbidity and mortality. We examined the spectrum of ventricular dysfunction, and investigated the predictors of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, beta-blocker, and spironolactone prescription in 1613 managed care patients with HF.
METHODS AND RESULTS
The diagnosis of HF was made by a HF discharge diagnosis or at least 3 physician encounters with a HF diagnosis during 2000. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of medication prescription. Preserved systolic function was documented in 37%, moderate-severe systolic dysfunction in 31%, mild systolic in 14%, and 18% had inadequate documentation. The mean age was 69 years, 58% were women, 24% African American, and 60% were Medicare patients. Patients without HF type documented were the least aggressively treated. Coronary artery disease, hypertension, and diabetes predicted increased utilization of ACE inhibitor and beta-blocker therapies. History of nephropathy was associated with less ACE inhibitor prescription. Advancing age predicted less utilization of beta-blockers and spironolactone. Neither ethnicity nor gender influenced medication prescription.
Preserved left ventricular function was common. Documentation of significant systolic dysfunction was associated with improved quality of care. Interventions to encourage documentation of HF type and further study of HF with preserved systolic function are warranted.