Background-Guidelines recommend continuation or initiation of guideline-directed medical therapy, including angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ACEi/ARB), in hospitalized patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Methods and Results-Using the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure Registry, we linked clinical data from 16 052 heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (ejection fraction ≤40%) patients with Medicare claims data. We divided ACEi/ARB-eligible patients into 4 categories based on admission and discharge ACEi/ARB use: continued (reference group), started, discontinued, or not started on therapy. A multivariable Cox proportional hazard model was used to determine the association between ACEi/ARB category and outcomes. Most, 90.5%, were discharged on ACEi/ARB (59.6% continued and 30.9% newly started). Of those discharged without ACEi/ARB, 1.9% were discontinued, and 7.5% were eligible but not started. Thirty-day mortality was 3.5% for patients continued and 4.1% for patients started on ACEi/ARB. In contrast, 30-day mortality was 8.8% for patients discontinued (adjusted hazard ratio [HRadj] 1.92; 95% CI 1.32-2.81; P < 0.001) and 7.5% for patients not started (HRadj 1.50; 95% CI 1.12-2.00; P=0.006). The 30-day readmission rate was lowest among patients continued or started on therapy. One-year mortality was 28.2% for patients continued and 29.7% for patients started on ACEi/ARB compared to 41.6% for patients discontinued (HRadj 1.35; 95% CI 1.13-1.61; P < 0.001) and 41.7% (HRadj 1.28; 95% CI 1.14-1.43; P < 0.001) for patients not started on therapy. Conclusions-Compared with continuation, withdrawal of ACEi/ARB during heart failure hospitalization is associated with higher rates of postdischarge mortality and readmission, even after adjustment for severity of illness.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
- Heart failure
- Outcomes research
- Quality of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine