Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beta blocker therapy underused in heart failure patients, study finds

Date:
March 4, 2010
Source:
Saint Louis University
Summary:
New research has found that beta blockers, a class of drugs used to prevent the progression of heart failure and manage arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) and hypertension (high blood pressure), are underused in heart failure patients who receive implantable cardiac devices. Failure to take beta blockers prior to implanting a cardiac device can affect the patient's overall outcome and survival rate.

New Saint Louis University research has found that beta blockers, a class of drugs used to prevent the progression of heart failure and manage arrhythmias (irregular heart beat) and hypertension (high blood pressure), are underused in heart failure patients who receive implantable cardiac devices.

Failure to take beta blockers prior to implanting a cardiac device can affect the patient's overall outcome and survival rate, says Paul Hauptman, M.D., cardiologist and professor of internal medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and lead author of the study.

Additionally, beta blocker use may eliminate the need for the cardiac device entirely by improving heart function. Multiple clinical practice guidelines, including those of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, support the use of beta blockers.

The research, which was published in the March 2010 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, used a large multi-state managed care database to examine the use of beta blockers both 90 days prior to and 180 days following the implantation of the device. When possible, researchers removed patients from the database who would not have qualified for beta blockers because of an underlying health issue, such as asthma, or because they received the device in an emergency situation.

Of the 2,766 patients included in the study, one third did not take beta blockers at any time in the 90 days before receiving a cardiac device. Additionally, less than 40 percent of the patients fell into the high use category, which was defined as having prescriptions for beta blockers that covered at least 80 percent of the 90 days prior to the procedure. The research found a modest increase of beta blocker use following the device procedure.

"Current guidelines for cardiac devices stress the importance of establishing optimal therapy, which includes the use of beta blockers, before considering a patient a candidate for the invasive procedure," Hauptman said.

"Cardiac devices alone are not the answer. Implantable defibrillators in particular function as a safety net; they provide protection in the event the heart would stop beating. Beta blockers, on the other hand, are a therapy. They can prevent progression of heart failure."

One of the criteria used to select candidates for cardiac devices is the ejection fraction, which refers to the fraction of blood pumped out of the heart with each heart beat. Beta blockers can improve a patient's ejection fraction and decrease the risk of sudden death. In fact, in some cases, taking beta blockers can improve ejection fraction so greatly that the patient no longer needs a cardiac device, Hauptman says.

While the research shows that less than 40 percent of patients take beta blockers for the recommended 90 days prior to receive a cardiac device, what is less clear are the reasons behind the lack of adherence.

"It's probably a combination of two factors: physicians are not prescribing the medication the way they should and patients may be non-compliant. From the proverbial 30,000 foot view, though, it doesn't matter why," Hauptman explained. "We need to have systems in place to ensure that patients are on optimal medical therapy prior to receiving a device."

Hauptman says the issue comes down to improving patient care and managing health care cost.

"Implantable cardiac devices are invasive and very expensive. We have a great opportunity to improve the way we care for heart failure patients. Plus, we can save money along the way," Hauptman said.

Co-researchers include Jason Swindle, MPH, from Saint Louis University School of Public Health, Frederick A Masoudi, M.D., MSPH from the University of Colorado Denver, and Thomas E. Burroughs, Ph.D., from the Saint Louis University Center for Outcomes Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Saint Louis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paul J. Hauptman, Jason P. Swindle, Frederick A. Masoudi, and Thomas E. Burroughs. Underutilization of β-Blockers in Patients Undergoing Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator and Cardiac Resynchronization Procedures. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2010; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.109.880450

Cite This Page:

Saint Louis University. "Beta blocker therapy underused in heart failure patients, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304093643.htm>.
Saint Louis University. (2010, March 4). Beta blocker therapy underused in heart failure patients, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304093643.htm
Saint Louis University. "Beta blocker therapy underused in heart failure patients, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304093643.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins