Monday, October 17, 2011

Heart Failure Treatment Underused

(HealthDay News) -- A recommended treatment for heart failure is underused in U.S. hospitals, a new study finds.

The use of aldosterone antagonist therapy in patients with heart failure is designated as "useful and recommended" in chronic heart failure guidelines established by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA), but this study found that less than one-third of patients hospitalized for heart failure receive the treatment.

Researchers analyzed data on 43,625 patients admitted with heart failure and discharged home from 241 hospitals participating in a hospital recognition program called Get With The Guidelines -- HF between 2005 and 2007.

The study found that 12,565 patients (28.8 percent) from 201 hospitals met ACC/AHA heart failure management guidelines criteria, and 4,087 eligible patients received an aldosterone antagonist when they were discharged from hospital. Overall, treatment increased from 28 percent to 34 percent during the study period, but there was wide variation in aldosterone antagonist use among hospitals -- ranging from 0 percent to 90.6 percent. Read more...

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