Dose matters! Optimisation of guideline adherence is associated with lower mortality in stable patients with chronic heart failure



      Guidelines have been published for improving management of chronic heart failure (CHF). We examined the association between improved guideline adherence and risk for all-cause death in patients with stable systolic HF.


      Data on ambulatory patients (2006–2010) with CHF and reduced ejection fraction (HF-REF) from the Austrian Heart Failure Registry (HIR Austria) were analysed. One-year clinical data and long-term follow-up data until all-cause death or data censoring were available for 1014 patients (age 65 [55–73], male 75%, NYHA class I 14%, NYHA II 56%, NYHA III/IV 30%). A guideline adherence indicator (GAI [0–100%]) was calculated for each patient at baseline and after 12 ± 3 months that considered indications and contraindications for ACE-I/ARB, beta blockers, and MRA. Patients were considered ΔGAI-positive if GAI improved to or remained at high levels (≥80%). ΔGAI50+ positivity was ascribed to patients achieving a dose of ≥50% of suggested target dose.


      Improvements in GAI and GAI50+ were associated with significant improvements in NYHA class and NT-proBNP (1728 [740–3636] to 970 [405–2348]) (p < 0.001). Improvements in GAI50+, but not GAI, were independently predictive of lower mortality risk (HR 0.55 [95% CI 0.34–0.87; p = 0.01]) after adjustment for a large variety of baseline parameters and hospitalisation for heart failure during follow-up.


      Improvement in guideline adherence with particular emphasis on dose escalation is associated with a decrease in long-term mortality in ambulatory HF-REF subjects surviving one year after registration.


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