Potentially harmful drug prescription in elderly patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction

Paulino A. Alvarez, Yubo Gao, Saket Girotra, Amgad Mentias, Alexandros Briasoulis, Mary S. Vaughan Sarrazin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the prescription frequency of potentially harmful prescription drugs as defined in current heart failure guidelines among elderly patients with a diagnosis of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and their association with clinical outcomes. Methods and results: We used the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data from a nationally representative 5% sample for the years 2014–2016 to identify patients admitted to acute care hospitals with a primary diagnosis of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. The primary exposure was filling a prescription for a potentially harmful drug. Potentially harmful drug fills were treated as a time-dependent covariate to examine their association on readmission and mortality. A total of 8993 patients met study criteria. Potentially harmful drugs were prescribed in 1077 (11.9%) patients within 90 days of discharge from the heart failure hospitalization. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents were the most frequently prescribed potentially harmful drug (6.7%) followed by calcium channel blockers (4.7%), thiazolidinedione (0.59%), and select antiarrhythmic (0.33%). Factors independently associated with potentially harmful drug prescription were female gender, Hispanic ethnicity, severe obesity, among others. In the multivariable Cox model, the prescription of a potentially harmful drug was associated with an increased risk of readmission (hazard ratio 1.14; 95% confidence interval 1.05–1.23, P < 0.001). Among drug subgroups, only calcium channel blockers were associated with an increased risk of readmission (hazard ratio 1.225; 95% confidence interval 1.085–1.382, P = 0.0011). Conclusions: In elderly patients discharged with a primary diagnosis of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction on guideline-directed medical therapy, prescription of a potentially harmful drug was frequent. Calcium channel blockers were associated with an increased risk of readmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1862-1871
Number of pages10
JournalESC Heart Failure
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Heart failure
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Pharmacotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Potentially harmful drug prescription in elderly patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this