Objective: We aimed to investigate the status of the treatment of congestive heart failure (CHF) in academic hospitals in Turkey.
Methods: Overall 661 successive patients from 16 academic hospitals were included in this retrospective study. In addition to treatments given to the patients before admission to hospital, during their hospital stay, and at hospital discharge, data regarding their functional classifications, causes of CHF, and laboratory findings were also recorded.
Results: In our study the mean age of patients was 61+/-12 years and the mean hospital stay 10+/-6 days. Ischemic CHF was observed more frequently in men (72% vs. 46%, p<0.001), while hypertension and rheumatic CHF were more frequent in women (27% vs. 19%, p<0.001 and 24% vs. 9%, p<0.001 respectively). While 90% of patients were in NYHA III-IV class at admission to hospital, only 2% of patients were in class IV at hospital discharge. The proportion of smokers was greater in men than in women (68% vs. 12%). Atrial fibrillation was present in 35% of patients. During hospitalization, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors were used by 77%, diuretics by 95%, digitalis by 76%, nitrate by 85%, beta-blockers by 3%, aspirin by 86%, anticoagulants by 44%, Ca antagonist by 10%, positive inotropic agents by 42%; and antiarrhythmic agents by 15% of patients.
Conclusion: The use of ACE inhibitors, the major milestone of CHF treatment, is not on an adequate level yet. The use of beta-blockers should also be encouraged.