Background: Modification of guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) in hospitalized patients with heart failure (HF) has not been extensively evaluated. Methods: The community surveillance arm of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study identified 6959 HF hospitalizations from 2005–2011. Predictors of GDMT modification and survival were assessed using multivariable logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models. Results: For 5091 hospitalizations, patient mean age was 75 years, 53% were female, 69% were white, and 81% had acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF). Regarding ejection fraction (EF), 31% of patients had HF with reduced EF (HFrEF), 24% had HF with preserved EF (HFpEF), and 44% were missing EF values. At admission, 52% of patients received angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACEIs/ARBs), 66% β-blockers (BBs), 9% aldosterone-receptor antagonists, 16% digoxin, 10% hydralazine, and 29% nitrates. Modification of GDMT occurred in up to 23% of hospitalizations. Significant predictors of GDMT initiation included ADHF and HFrEF; discontinuation of medications was observed with select comorbidities. In HFrEF, initiation of any GDMT was associated with reduced 1-year all-cause mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23–0.71) as was initiation of ACEI/ARBs, BBs, and digoxin. Discontinuation of any therapy versus maintaining GDMT was associated with greater mortality (HR 1.30, 95% CI 1.02–1.66). Similar trends were observed in HFpEF. Conclusions: Our study suggests that GDMT initiation is associated with increased survival, and discontinuation of therapy is associated with reduced survival in hospitalized patients with HF. Future studies should be conducted to confirm the impact of GDMT therapy modification in this population.
- guideline-directed medical therapy
- heart failure