Background: Beta-blockers are underused in HF patients, thus strategies to implement their use are needed. Objectives: To improve beta-blocker use in elderly and/or patients with severe heart failure (HF) and to evaluate safety and outcome. Methods: Patients with symptomatic HF and age ≥ 70 years or left ventricular EF <25% and symptoms at rest were enrolled, including those already on beta-blocker treatment. Patients who were not receiving a beta-blocker were considered for carvedilol treatment. All patients were followed up for 1-year. Results: Of the 1518 elderly patients, 505 were already on beta-blockers, and carvedilol was newly prescribed in 419 patients. At 1-year, patients treated with carvedilol had a lower incidence of death [10.8% vs. 18.0% in already treated (adjusted RR 0.68; 95%CI 0.49-0.96) and 11.2% in newly treated patients (adjusted RR 0.68; 95%CI 0.48-0.97)]. Of the 709 patients with severe HF, 38.4% were already on beta-blockers, and carvedilol was newly prescribed in 189 patients. Patients not treated with carvedilol showed the worst clinical outcome. Total rate of discontinuation (including adverse reaction and non-compliance) was 14% and 9%, respectively, in elderly and severe patients. Conclusions: In a real world setting, beta-blocker treatment was not associated with an increased risk of adverse events in elderly and severe HF patients.
- Heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine