Heart Patients Get More Appropriate Rx Treatment from Cardiologists

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Patients treated for congestive heartfailure (CHF) by noncardiologists facea greater risk of not receiving lifesavingprescription therapy for their condition,according to a new study publishedin the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

The drugs in question—beta-blockers,angiotensin-converting enzymeinhibitors (ACEIs), and aldosteroneantagonists—have all been shown tosignificantly decrease morbidity andmortality, and are among the medicationsrecommended by the Heart FailureSociety of America to treat CHF,hospital pharmacy leaders explained.

But in a study examining prescribingdifferences by medical specialty,researchers discovered that:

  • ACEIs were prescribed for 61% ofpatients upon discharge by cardiologistsversus only 35% by noncardiologists
  • Beta-blockers were prescribed for65% of patients treated by cardiologistsversus only 32% by noncardiologists
  • Aldosterone antagonists were prescribedfor 17% of patients upondischarge by a cardiologist versusonly 7% by noncardiologists

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.