Researchers say nearly one-third of patients don't get a prescription for a potentially lifesaving drug after a hospitalization for systolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart has trouble pumping blood.
According to their research they say that those who don't receive an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor are 14-percent more likely to die within one year than those who do get the drug. ACE inhibitors work by blocking the harmful effects of angiotensin, a substance known to make heart failure worse by causing blood vessels to become narrower.
Researchers reviewed data from the government's National Heart Care Project. Results showed 32 percent of elderly patients who went into the hospital with heart failure left without a prescription for an ACE inhibitor.
Thus researchers say their findings highlight the ongoing need for efforts to optimize the use of ACE inhibitors with the goal of ensuring that all eligible patients benefit from these life-prolonging medications.