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Treatment Differences in Medical Therapy for Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction Between Sociodemographic Groups.

Witting C, Zheng J, Tisdale RL, Shannon E, Kohsaka S, Lewis EF, Heidenreich P, Sandhu A. Treatment Differences in Medical Therapy for Heart Failure With Reduced Ejection Fraction Between Sociodemographic Groups. JACC. Heart failure. 2023 Feb 1; 11(2):161-172.

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BACKGROUND: There are sociodemographic disparities in outcomes of heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), but disparities in guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) remain poorly characterized. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to analyze GDMT treatment rates in eligible patients with recently diagnosed HFrEF, and to determine how rates vary by sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included patients diagnosed with HFrEF at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals from 2013 to 2019. The authors analyzed GDMT treatment rates and doses, excluding patients with contraindications. Therapies of interest were evidence-based beta-blockers (BBs), renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (RASIs), angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitors (ARNIs), and mineralocorticoid antagonists (MRAs). The authors compared adjusted treatment rates by race and ethnicity, neighborhood social vulnerability, rurality, distance to medical care, and sex. RESULTS: The cohort comprised 126,670 VA patients with recently diagnosed HFrEF. The study found that racial and ethnic minorities had similar or higher treatment rates than White patients. Patients residing in socially vulnerable neighborhoods had 3.4% lower ARNI (95% CI: 1.9%-5.0%) treatment rates. Patients residing farther from specialty care had similar rates of GDMT therapy overall, but were less likely to be taking at least 50% of the target doses of either BBs (4.0% less likely; 95% CI: 3.1%-5.0%) or RASIs (5.0% less likely; 95% CI: 4.1%-6.0%) compared with those closer to care. CONCLUSIONS: Among VA patients with recently diagnosed HFrEF, the authors did not find that racial and ethnic minority patients were less likely to receive GDMT. However, appropriate dose up-titration may occur less frequently in more remote patients.

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