Treatment of heart failure falls short of guidelines

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The Independent Online
Treatment of up to a quarter of patients with heart failure does not meet the present guidelines, research has revealed.

A study of 197 patients with chronic heart problems found 23 per cent failed to be treated with ACE inhibitors - drugs which have been shown in clinical trials to reduce significantly deaths from heart failure.

Forty per cent of patients were prescribed drugs known to worsen heart failure, according to the study. Researchers at Tameside General Hospital, Manchester, told the British Pharmaceutical Conference in Scarborough that better management of heart failure patients was needed. Later today Frank Dobson Health Secretary will address the conference which runs until Thursday.

Researchers questioned all patients with a diagnosis of chronic heart failure admitted to Tameside Hospital over a 10-month period.