Drug treatment of heart failure--do nursing-home residents deserve better?

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2000 Dec;18(4):226-31. doi: 10.1080/028134300448797.


Objective: To describe and assess drug treatment of heart failure (HF) in nursing-home residents.

Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Individual patient information was obtained from the medical records and drug-dispensing cards.

Setting: Nursing homes in Bergen, Norway.

Main outcome measures: Demographic data, diagnostic data (main diagnoses, diagnostic indications for the drugs used), medications (drugs, dosage and duration of use).

Results: Data were gathered from 23 of 27 obtainable institutions representing 1552 residents (86% of the Bergen nursing-home population); 469 (30%) of the residents used drugs for HF, the majority of whom (293 patients) were treated with furosemide only. Supplementary angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (predominantly in sub-target doses) were provided to 17% of the HF patients. About one out of four used drug combinations which we considered to be potentially harmful for HF patients.

Conclusions: ACE inhibitors are probably under-utilised for HF in nursing-home residents. Potentially harmful drug combinations commonly occur. Both diagnosis and drug treatment for HF should be challenged in the nursing-home setting.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy*
  • Homes for the Aged / standards*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Nursing Homes / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care*


  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Diuretics