Heart failure continues to place heavy demands on the US health care system1:
>1 million heart failure–related hospitalizations occur each year, and rehospitalization continues to be an issue1,2
* EMPHASIS was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 2737 patients at least 55 years of age. Patients received eplerenone (up to 50 mg daily) or placebo, in addition to recommended therapy. The primary outcome was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes or hospitalization for heart failure.3
The CHARM Low–Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction (LVEF) trials were two randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled trials (CHARM-Alternative, for patients who cannot tolerate ACE inhibitors, and CHARM-Added, for patients who were receiving ACE inhibitors). Mortality and morbidity were determined in 4576 low (≤40%) LVEF patients (2289 candesartan and 2287 placebo), titrated as tolerated to a target dose of 32 mg once daily, and observed for 2 to 4 years (median, 40 months). The primary outcome (time to first event by intention to treat) was cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalization for each trial, in the pooled analysis of the low LVEF trials.4
Heart failure is the number 1 cause of hospitalization among Medicare patients.6
Under new Medicare rules, hospitals can be penalized for readmission rates. Please see the economic impact section for more information regarding rehospitalization penalties.
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