BACKGROUND: Prescribed dosages of heart failure (HF) therapy in patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction remain lower than guideline recommended. It remains unclear whether systolic blood pressure (BP) influences prescription of HF drugs to HF patients with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction in a European setting. This study aimed to investigate the role of systolic BP on the prescription rate and actual dose of guideline-recommended HF therapy. METHODS: A total of 8246 patients with chronic HF with a reduced left ventricular ejection fraction from 34 Dutch outpatient HF clinics were included. Detailed information on prescription rates and dosages of HF drugs were assessed according to systolic BP categories (<95, 95–109, 110–129, and ≥130 mmHg). RESULTS: Patients with systolic BP <95 mmHg receive more often triple therapy (β-blocker, renin-angiotensin system inhibitor, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist; 40.3% versus 30.4% respectively, P<0.001) compared with ≥130 mmHg. Patients with systolic BP <95 mmHg received significantly more often mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (64.5% versus 43.8%), ivabradine (8.3% versus 3.6%), and diuretics (94.2% versus 78.6%) and less often renin-angiotensin system inhibitors (75.4% versus 82.8%) compared with ≥130 mmHg (P for all trends, <0.001). The prescribed dosages of β-blockers and renin-angiotensin system inhibitors were significantly lower in patients with systolic BP <95 mmHg compared with ≥130 mmHg (P for all trends, <0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In this large cross-sectional cohort of patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, patients with lower systolic BP receive more HF drugs but at lower dose relative to the target dose recommended in HF guidelines. Discussion is warranted regarding what target BP is acceptable and what should be limiting factors in uptitration to adequate levels of HF medication.

Circulation. Heart Failure
Department of Cardiology

Veenis, J.F., Brunner-La Rocca, H.P., Linssen, G.C.M., van Gent, M. W. F., Hoes, A.W, & Brugts, J.J. (2020). Treatment Differences in Chronic Heart Failure Patients With Reduced Ejection Fraction According to Blood Pressure. Circulation. Heart Failure, 13(5). doi:10.1161/circheartfailure.119.006667