Effects of European Society of Cardiology guidelines on medication profiles after hospitalization for heart failure in 22,476 Dutch patients: from 2001 until 2015

Prescriber adherence to guideline-recommended medication in patients with heart failure (HF) in clinical practice is suboptimal. We analyzed how evolving guideline recommendations influenced medication profiles after a first HF hospitalization. Wextracted medication profiles from the Dutch PHARMO Database Network for 22,476 patients with a diagnosis of HF at hospital discharge between 2001 and 2015. The percentage of patients prescribed the combination of a beta-blocker (BB) and an angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) or angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) increased from 24 to approximately 45% within this 15-year period. The percentage of patients who also used a mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonist (MRA) reached approximately 20%. The probability of being prescribed these combinations decreased with increasing age. As a consequence of the policy change in the ESC guideline 2001, the use of BB increased from less than 40% in 2001 to about 70% by 2015. The percentage of patients prescribed an ACEI and/or an ARB, an MRA, or a diuretic was about stable, at respectively 63%, 37%, and 82%. Although the 2012 ESC guideline also advised MRA in the New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II, there was no increase in MRA prescriptions. Compliance with the ESC guidelines varied for the individual recommendations. Remarkably, there was no significant increase in MRA prescriptions. At the same time, developments were demonstrated, which were not instigated by the guidelines, like the shift fromACEI to ARB. Although the exact HF classification of our patients was unknown, given a relatively stable case mix, our data provide insight into “real-world” pharmacological management.

Share this article