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Mohanty AF, Levitan EB, Dodson JA, Vardeny O, King JB, LaFleur J, He T, Patterson OV, Alba PR, Russo PA, Choi ME, Bress AP. Characteristics and Healthcare Utilization Among Veterans Treated for Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction Who Switched to Sacubitril/Valsartan. Circulation. Heart failure. 2019 Nov 1; 12(11):e005691.
BACKGROUND: US guidelines recommend that patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), who tolerate an ACEI (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor) or ARB (angiotensin II receptor blocker), be switched to sacubitril/valsartan to reduce morbidity and mortality. We compared characteristics and healthcare utilization between Veterans with HFrEF who were switched to sacubitril/valsartan versus maintained on an ACEI or ARB. METHODS: retrospective cohort study of treated HFrEF (July 2015-June 2017) using Veterans Affairs data. The index date was the first fill for sacubitril/valsartan and if none, for an ACEI or ARB. Treated HFrEF was defined by (1) left ventricular ejection fraction 40%, (2) 1 in/outpatient HF encounter, and (3) 1 ACEI or ARB fill, all within 1-year preindex. Poisson regression models were used to compare baseline characteristics and 1:1 propensity score-matched adjusted 4-month follow-up healthcare utilization between sacubitril/valsartan switchers and ACEI or ARB maintainers. RESULTS: Switchers (1612; 4.2%) were less likely than maintainers (37 065; 95.8%) to have a history of myocardial infarction or hypertension, and more likely to be black, have a lower left ventricular ejection fraction, and higher preindex healthcare utilization. Switchers were less likely to experience follow-up all-cause hospitalizations (11.2% versus 14.0%; risk ratio 0.80 [95% CI, 0.65-0.98], value 0.035). CONCLUSIONS: Few Veterans with treated HFrEF were switched to sacubitril/valsartan within the first 2 years of Food and Drug Administration approval. Sacubitril/valsartan use was associated with a lower risk for all-cause hospitalizations at 4 months follow-up. Reasons for lack of guideline-recommended sacubitril/valsartan initiation warrant investigation and may reveal opportunities for HFrEF care optimization.