The benefits of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition in the management of cardiac failure have been extensively documented. However, little is known about its impact upon the investigation and management of this condition. We assessed how patients diagnosed as having cardiac failure were investigated, which patients were treated with ACE inhibitors and with what dosages. We reviewed the case notes of all 343 patients discharged from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary 1 July-31 December 1992 with a diagnosis of cardiac failure. In addition, a questionnaire was sent to the general practitioners of the 166 patients still alive in October 1994. Only 40% of patients were discharged from hospital on ACE inhibitors. In 58.8%, the diagnosis of cardiac failure was based purely on clinical or radiological grounds. At discharge, 76.1% of patients were on lower doses of ACE inhibitors than those used in the major survival studies; with 68.9% receiving similar doses two years later. The majority of patients with heart failure are under-investigated and under-treated.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Q J M : an international journal of medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1996|