Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Age and receipt of guideline-recommended medications for heart failure: a nationwide study of veterans.

Steinman MA, Harlow JB, Massie BM, Kaboli PJ, Fung KZ, Heidenreich PA. Age and receipt of guideline-recommended medications for heart failure: a nationwide study of veterans. Journal of general internal medicine. 2011 Oct 1; 26(10):1152-9.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Older patients often receive less guideline-concordant care for heart failure than younger patients. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether age differences in heart failure care are explained by patient, provider, and health system characteristics and/or by chart-documented reasons for non-adherence to guidelines. DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Retrospective cohort study of 2,772 ambulatory veterans with heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction < 40% from a 2004 nationwide medical record review program (the VA External Peer Review Program). MAIN MEASURES: Ambulatory use of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and beta blockers. RESULTS: Among 2,772 patients, mean age was 73 +/- 10 years, 87% received an ACE inhibitor or ARB, and 82% received a beta blocker. When patients with explicit chart-documented reasons for not receiving these drugs were excluded, 95% received an ACE inhibitor or ARB and 89% received a beta blocker. In multivariable analyses controlling for a variety of patient and health system characteristics, the adjusted odds ratio for ACE-inhibitor and ARB use was 0.43 (95% CI 0.24-0.78) for patients age 80 and over vs. those age 50-64 years, and the adjusted odds ratio for beta blocker use was 0.66 (95% CI 0.48-0.93) between the two age groups. The magnitude of these associations was similar but not statistically significant after excluding patients with chart-documented reasons for not prescribing ACE inhibitors or ARBs and beta blockers. CONCLUSIONS: A high proportion of veterans receive guideline-recommended medications for heart failure. Older veterans are consistently less likely to receive these drugs, although these differences were no longer significant when accounting for patients with chart-documented reasons for not prescribing these drugs. Closely evaluating reasons for non-prescribing in older adults is essential to assessing whether non-treatment represents good clinical judgment or missed opportunities to improve care.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.