Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the clinical and therapeutic profiles of heart failure (HF) cases admitted to Aseer Central Hospital (ACH), Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A retrospective cohort of 300 consecutive patients admitted with the diagnosis of HF to ACH from 1 June 2007 to 31 May 2009 were included in the study. Data on demographic variables, aetiologic factors, risk factors, and therapeutic profiles of patients with HF were collected and analysed.
Results: The patients' mean age was 67.4 ± 13.7 years and 68.7% of them were male. The commonest aetiologies for HF were ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and hypertension in 38.3% and 33.3% of patients, respectively. A total of 61.3% of patients were diabetics. Other risk factors for HF included renal failure in 9.7%, atrial fibrillation in 13%, and anaemia in 48.3% of patients. Echocardiography was performed in 98.7% of cases: the average ejection fraction (EF) was 33% ± 17. Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin 2 receptor blockers were used in 68.3% of cases, β-blockers in 51.6% of cases and digoxin in 28.3% of cases.
Conclusion: The major causes of HF in our study were IHD and hypertension. Diabetes and anaemia were common risk factors. The cohort constituted an intermediate HF risk group (ejection fraction (EF) 33%). Important therapeutic agents like angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor I, β-blockers and digoxin were underutilised. Fostering such therapy in practice will lead to a better outcome in the management of HF patients. Anaemia was a significant risk factor in our HF patients and should be managed properly.
Keywords: Heart failure; Saudi Arabia; Therapeutics.