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Mortality, morbidity and evidence‐based management amongst patients in regional New Zealand with severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction (1997–2011)

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Heart failure and its management represents a significant health burden, the extent of which is poorly understood in regional New Zealand.

To investigate mortality, quality of life, hospitalisation, and evidence‐based medical and device management of severe left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction in a regional New Zealand setting.

A retrospective case series was undertaken of 1126 patients with a LV ejection fraction <36% on transthoracic echocardiograms performed between 1 October 1997 and 31 March 2011 in Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. All‐cause mortality and hospitalisation data were analysed for all participants. Substudies were undertaken regarding pharmacotherapy, demographics, implantable cardioverter‐defibrillator implantation rates and quality of life based on the EQ‐5D questionnaire and New York Heart Association class.

Five‐year cumulative survival was 44.5%. The mean annual medical admission rate was 204/100 000; 54.84% of which were readmissions in the same year. Prescription rates for angiotensin‐converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin‐receptor blockers, beta‐blockers and spironolactone were 68.3%, 74.2% and 24.9%, respectively, with only 17.6%, 19.0% and 16.4% on maximum recommended doses. implantable cardioverter‐defibrillator devices were inserted in 11.5% of eligible patients. Quality of life was impaired in patients <70 years relative to the age‐approximated New Zealand index population. Mean EQ‐5D visual analogue score was 72.6 ± 0.032 and self‐reported New York Heart Association class 2.09 ± 0.107

Patients with severe LV systolic dysfunction in this regional New Zealand community experience similar mortality and first hospitalisation rates to those seen elsewhere in patients with clinical heart failure, but a greater number of readmissions. Medical and device therapy utilisation was suboptimal, and quality of life impaired, together supporting the need for a dedicated heart failure service.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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