BACKGROUND: Since the large multicenter DIG trial has shown no effects of digitalis on the all-cause mortality of patients with chronic heart failure (HF), the broad prescription of this drug in patients with HF appears to be at the very least, questionable. The aims of this study were: to analyze prescription patterns of digitalis, from 1995 to 2000, in a large group of outpatients with HF; to analyze the independent predictors of digitalis prescription and to evaluate the impact of the results of the DIG trial on the prescription rate of this drug. METHODS: From 1995 to 2000, 11 070 HF outpatients (mean age 64 +/- 12 years, ejection fraction 35 +/- 12%) were enrolled in a large Italian database. RESULTS: Out of 11 070 patients, 7198 (65%) were treated with digitalis. At multivariate analysis, the following variables were independently associated with digitalis prescription; atrial fibrillation (odds ratio [OR] 3.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.9-3.8), ejection fraction < 30% (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-1.9), NYHA class III-IV vs II-III (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.5), admission for HF during the previous year (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.5). After the publication of the DIG trial, there was a significant reduction in the rate of digitalis prescription: the percentage of patients taking digitalis fell from 68% in 1996-1997 to 61% in 1998-1999 (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Over 60% of Italian outpatients with HF were treated with digitalis; as expected, patients with a low ejection fraction, atrial fibrillation and in a more advanced stage of HF are more likely to receive this drug. Finally, after the publication of the DIG trial, the rate of digitalis prescription significantly decreased.

Use of digitalis in the treatment of heart failure: data from the Italian Network on Congestive Heart Failure (IN-CHF)

M. C. Albanese;L. Delfino);G. Polimeni;D. Cento;C. De Gregorio);
2004

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Since the large multicenter DIG trial has shown no effects of digitalis on the all-cause mortality of patients with chronic heart failure (HF), the broad prescription of this drug in patients with HF appears to be at the very least, questionable. The aims of this study were: to analyze prescription patterns of digitalis, from 1995 to 2000, in a large group of outpatients with HF; to analyze the independent predictors of digitalis prescription and to evaluate the impact of the results of the DIG trial on the prescription rate of this drug. METHODS: From 1995 to 2000, 11 070 HF outpatients (mean age 64 +/- 12 years, ejection fraction 35 +/- 12%) were enrolled in a large Italian database. RESULTS: Out of 11 070 patients, 7198 (65%) were treated with digitalis. At multivariate analysis, the following variables were independently associated with digitalis prescription; atrial fibrillation (odds ratio [OR] 3.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.9-3.8), ejection fraction < 30% (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-1.9), NYHA class III-IV vs II-III (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2-1.5), admission for HF during the previous year (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.5). After the publication of the DIG trial, there was a significant reduction in the rate of digitalis prescription: the percentage of patients taking digitalis fell from 68% in 1996-1997 to 61% in 1998-1999 (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Over 60% of Italian outpatients with HF were treated with digitalis; as expected, patients with a low ejection fraction, atrial fibrillation and in a more advanced stage of HF are more likely to receive this drug. Finally, after the publication of the DIG trial, the rate of digitalis prescription significantly decreased.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1585994
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