Objectives and design Guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) with renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors and beta-blockers has improved survival in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). As clinical trials usually do not include very old patients, it is unknown whether the results from clinical trials are applicable to elderly patients with HF. This study was performed to investigate the clinical characteristics and treatment strategies for elderly patients with HFrEF in a large prospective cohort. Setting The Korean Acute Heart Failure (KorAHF) registry consecutively enrolled 5625 patients hospitalised for acute HF from 10 tertiary university hospitals in Korea. Participants In this study, 2045 patients with HFrEF who were aged 65 years or older were included from the KorAHF registry. Primary outcome measurement All-cause mortality data were obtained from medical records, national insurance data or national death records. Results Both beta-blockers and RAS inhibitors were used in 892 (43.8%) patients (GDMT group), beta-blockers only in 228 (11.1%) patients, RAS inhibitors only in 642 (31.5%) patients and neither beta-blockers nor RAS inhibitors in 283 (13.6%) patients (no GDMT group). With increasing age, the GDMT rate decreased, which was mainly attributed to the decreased prescription of beta-blockers. In multivariate analysis, GDMT was associated with a 53% reduced risk of all-cause mortality (HR 0.47, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.57) compared with no GDMT. Use of beta-blockers only (HR 0.57, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.73) and RAS inhibitors only (HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.71) was also associated with reduced risk. In a subgroup of very elderly patients (aged ≥80 years), the GDMT group had the lowest mortality. Conclusions GDMT was associated with reduced 3-year all-cause mortality in elderly and very elderly HFrEF patients. Trial registration number NCT01389843.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding This work was supported by Research of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010-E63003-00, 2011-E63002-00, 2012-E63005-00, 2013-E63003-00, 2013-E63003-01, 2013-E63003-02 and 2016-ER6303-00) and by the SNUBH Research Fund (Grant no 14-2015-029 and 16-2017-003).
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