Vol 61, No 11 (2004)
Other
Published online: 2005-12-12
Submitted: 2012-12-28
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Differences between cardiologists and internists in the management of heart failure. Medical guidelines compared with every-day practice

Sławomir Stawicki, Marek Roik, Mariusz Jasik, Dariusz Kosior, Piotr Scisło, Janusz Kochanowski, Krzysztof Dęmbe, Roman Steckiewicz, Waldemar Karnafel, Grzegorz Opolski
Kardiol Pol 2004;61(11):436-439.
Vol 61, No 11 (2004)
Other
Published online: 2005-12-12
Submitted: 2012-12-28

Abstract

Background: A marked progress in the treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF) took place during the last decade. Large, randomised studies documented the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and beta-blockers in the reduction of mortality and morbidity in CHF.
Aim: To assess differences in the management of CHF patients between cardiologists and internists.
Methods: Medical records of 433 patients with CHF, aged 38-98 years, hospitalised between October 2000 and May 2002 in an academic centre, were retrospectively analysed. Cardiologists treated 241 patients, and internists - 192 patients. In addition, 12 randomly selected physicians who treated CHF patients, filled-in a questionnaire concerning CHF treatment. Next, the answers were compared with the actual treatment, documented in patients medical files.
Results: There were significant differences in the CHF treatment between cardiologists and internists. Cardiologists significantly more often prescribed ACE-I in NYHA class III patients (77% vs 58%, p=0.003), beta-blockers in all NYHA classes (80% vs 57%, p<0.001), loop diuretics in NYHA classes III and IV (76% vs 42%, p<0.001 and 91% vs 44%, p=0.005), and thiazides in NYHA class III patients (36% vs 11%, p<0.001). Internists more often used loop diuretics (37% vs 15%, p<0.001), digoxin (28% vs 7%, p<0.001) and aldosterone antagonists (24% vs 13%, p=0.022) in NYHA class II patients. All cardiologists and almost half of internists declared combined usage of ACE-I and beta-blockers at increasing dosages as the treatment was continued. The highest concordance between declared and actual medication concerned the concomitant use of ACE-I and beta-blockers.
Conclusions: Cardiologists used more often ACE-I and beta-blockers than internists in the treatment of CHF patients. A satisfactory knowledge of treatment guidelines was not associated with widespread usage of ACE-I and beta-blockers in every-day practice.

Abstract

Background: A marked progress in the treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF) took place during the last decade. Large, randomised studies documented the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and beta-blockers in the reduction of mortality and morbidity in CHF.
Aim: To assess differences in the management of CHF patients between cardiologists and internists.
Methods: Medical records of 433 patients with CHF, aged 38-98 years, hospitalised between October 2000 and May 2002 in an academic centre, were retrospectively analysed. Cardiologists treated 241 patients, and internists - 192 patients. In addition, 12 randomly selected physicians who treated CHF patients, filled-in a questionnaire concerning CHF treatment. Next, the answers were compared with the actual treatment, documented in patients medical files.
Results: There were significant differences in the CHF treatment between cardiologists and internists. Cardiologists significantly more often prescribed ACE-I in NYHA class III patients (77% vs 58%, p=0.003), beta-blockers in all NYHA classes (80% vs 57%, p<0.001), loop diuretics in NYHA classes III and IV (76% vs 42%, p<0.001 and 91% vs 44%, p=0.005), and thiazides in NYHA class III patients (36% vs 11%, p<0.001). Internists more often used loop diuretics (37% vs 15%, p<0.001), digoxin (28% vs 7%, p<0.001) and aldosterone antagonists (24% vs 13%, p=0.022) in NYHA class II patients. All cardiologists and almost half of internists declared combined usage of ACE-I and beta-blockers at increasing dosages as the treatment was continued. The highest concordance between declared and actual medication concerned the concomitant use of ACE-I and beta-blockers.
Conclusions: Cardiologists used more often ACE-I and beta-blockers than internists in the treatment of CHF patients. A satisfactory knowledge of treatment guidelines was not associated with widespread usage of ACE-I and beta-blockers in every-day practice.
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Keywords

chronic heart failure - pharmacotherapy - cardiologists - internists

About this article
Title

Differences between cardiologists and internists in the management of heart failure. Medical guidelines compared with every-day practice

Journal

Kardiologia Polska (Polish Heart Journal)

Issue

Vol 61, No 11 (2004)

Pages

436-439

Published online

2005-12-12

Bibliographic record

Kardiol Pol 2004;61(11):436-439.

Keywords

chronic heart failure - pharmacotherapy - cardiologists - internists

Authors

Sławomir Stawicki
Marek Roik
Mariusz Jasik
Dariusz Kosior
Piotr Scisło
Janusz Kochanowski
Krzysztof Dęmbe
Roman Steckiewicz
Waldemar Karnafel
Grzegorz Opolski

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