Age differences in contemporary treatment of patients with chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction

Jesse F. Veenis, Hans-Peter Brunner-La Rocca, Gerard C. M. Linssen, Peter R. Geerlings, Marco W. F. Van Gent, Ismail Aksoy, Liane Oosterom, Arno H. M. Moons, Arno W. Hoes, Jasper J. Brugts*, CHECK-HF Investigators

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Web of Science)


Background Elderly patients are underrepresented in clinical trials but comprise the majority of heart failure patients. Data on age-specific use of heart failure therapy are limited. The European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines provide no age-specific treatment recommendations. We investigated practice-based heart failure management in a large registry at heart failure outpatient clinics. Design and methods We studied 8351 heart failure with reduced ejection fraction patients at 34 Dutch outpatient clinics between 2013 and 2016. The mean age was 72.3 +/- 11.8 years and we divided age into three categories: less than 60 years (13.9%); 60-74 years (36.0%); and 75 years and over (50.2%). Results Elderly heart failure with reduced ejection fraction patients (>= 75 years) received significantly fewer beta-blockers (77.8% vs. 84.2%), renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (75.2% vs. 89.7%), mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (50.6% vs. 59.6%) and ivabradine (2.9% vs. 9.3%), but significantly more diuretics (88.1% vs. 72.6%) compared to patients aged less than 60 years (P-for all trends <0.01). Moreover, the prescribed target dosages were significantly lower in elderly patients. Also, implantable cardioverter defibrillator (18.9% vs. 44.1%) and cardiac resynchronisation therapy device (14.6% vs. 16.7%) implantation rates were significantly lower in elderly patients. A similar trend in drug prescription was observed in patients with heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction as in heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. Conclusion With increasing age, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction patients less often received guideline-recommended medication prescriptions and also in a lower dosage. In addition, a lower percentage of implantable cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac resynchronisation therapy device implantation in elderly patients was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1399-1407
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Heart failure
  • HFrEF
  • guideline adherence
  • age
  • treatment
  • ESC

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