Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicians failing to follow recommended heart-failure treatment guidelines, study finds

Date:
August 9, 2010
Source:
Stanford University Medical Center
Summary:
Physicians are losing ground in prescribing the types of medications that have proven most effective in treating a condition known as congestive heart failure, according to a new study.

Physicians are losing ground in prescribing the types of medications that have proven most effective in treating a condition known as congestive heart failure, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study shows that the use of two types of drug therapy for treating heart failure has steadily declined since the early and mid-2000s, and that the medications are being prescribed to only about one-third of the patients who would benefit from them.

"Tried-and-true therapies are not getting the attention they really deserve," said senior author Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. "These therapies are of great value to the vast majority of heart-failure patients, and to see them being used in less than 40 percent of patients is a concern."

The research will be published in the Aug. 9/23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The paper is a follow-up to an earlier study indicating that through the early 2000s physicians were slowly increasing their adoption of heart-failure treatment recommendations developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. Heart failure -- a condition in which the heart doesn't pump enough blood to the body's other organs -- often leaves sufferers tired, short of breath and carrying extra fluid in their bodies. About 20 percent of those who are diagnosed with the condition die within a year, and 80 percent die within eight years.

Clinical trials have shown that two types of medication therapy are highly effective in treating the condition. One, which includes drugs known as ACE-inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, expands blood vessels to improve blood flow. The other, known as beta blockers, improves the pumping efficiency of the heart.

Stafford and lead author Dipanjan Banerjee, MD, a clinical instructor in cardiovascular medicine, used a national database of physician survey responses to determine which medications were being prescribed to treat heart-failure patients from 1994 through 2009.

They found that use of the ACE-inhibitors and ARBs increased from 34 percent in 1994 to 45 percent in 2002, but then decreased to 32 percent by 2009.

With beta blockers, use went from 11 percent in 1998 to 44 percent in 2006, but had dropped to 37 percent by 2009.

"Our expectation was that there would be continued improvement in the use of these drugs, but that hasn't happened," Stafford said. "We're not sure what's gone wrong."

He and Banerjee hypothesize that the lack of new clinical trial findings about the medications in recent years may have lowered the treatments' profile among physicians and patients. "The longer it's been since an important trial is published, the more difficult it becomes to reinforce the value of those findings," Stafford said.

He said he hopes the study highlights the "quality gap" between actual and recommended heart-failure treatment, as well as spurs deeper investigations into why the recommended treatments aren't being adopted.

The study was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Stanford's Department of Medicine also supported the work.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Stanford University Medical Center. "Physicians failing to follow recommended heart-failure treatment guidelines, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161122.htm>.
Stanford University Medical Center. (2010, August 9). Physicians failing to follow recommended heart-failure treatment guidelines, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161122.htm
Stanford University Medical Center. "Physicians failing to follow recommended heart-failure treatment guidelines, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100809161122.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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