Congestive heart failure has emerged as an important public health problem world wide. It is the single most common cause for hospitalization of patients over the age of 65 years in the United States. The past decade has witnessed the completion of a number of clinical trials which have been helpful in formulating treatment strategies for patients with chronic congestive heart failure. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors have emerged as distinctly useful pharmacologic therapy for this condition, and digitalis and diuretics are still widely used. New clinical trials are being planned and conducted to further refine our knowledge of treatment. Future studies are likely to be focused on understanding how myocardial damage begins and progresses to end-stage heart failure, and how early therapy may prevent the advanced stages of the disease.
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition
- Clinical trials
- Heart failure
- Positive inotropic agents