Effectiveness of guideline-consistent heart failure drug prescriptions at hospital discharge on 1-year mortality: Results from the EPICAL2 cohort study

Published:January 02, 2018DOI:


      • Prescription of ACE inhibitors and β-blockers for patients with HFREF was low
      • A drop of recommended drug prescription in HREF might occur late after discharge
      • ACE inhibitors and β-blockers in HFREF might remain effective in current practice



      We aimed to assess the effectiveness of recommended drug prescriptions at hospital discharge on 1-year mortality in patients with heart failure (HF) and reduced ejection fraction (HFREF).

      Materials and methods

      We used data from the EPICAL2 cohort study. HF patients ≥18 years old with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <40% and alive at discharge were included and followed up for mortality. Socio-demographic, clinical and therapeutic data were collected at admission. Therapeutic data were collected at discharge and at 6 month. Prescription of an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (or an angiotensin II receptor blocker [ARB] in case of ACE inhibitor intolerance) and a β-blocker at discharge were considered “guideline-consistent discharge prescription” (GCDP). A frailty Cox model after propensity score (PS) matching was used to assess the association of GCDP with survival.


      Among 624 patients included, the mean (SD) age was 73.6 (12.8) years; 65% were male. A total of 412 (65.6%) patients received GCDP, and 82.8% still had guideline consistent prescription at 6 months. A total of 166 patients died during the follow-up, 78 in the GCDP group and 88 in the other group. Before PS matching, patients with GCDP were younger (|StDiff| = 48.32%) and had higher body mass index (BMI) (|StDiff| = 11.71%), lower LVEF (|StDiff| = 23.13%) and lower Charlson index (|StDiff| = 55.27%) than patients without GCDP. After PS matching, all characteristics were balanced between the two treatment groups, and GCDP was associated with reduced mortality (pooled HR = 0.51, 95% CI [0.35–0.73]).


      Prescription of ACE (or ARB) inhibitors and β-blockers for patients with HFREF may be low despite the evidence for morbidity and mortality improvement with these medications but remains associated with reduced 1-year mortality in unselected HFREF patients.


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