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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2015;31(10):1903-9.
doi: 10.1185/03007995.2015.1080155. Epub 2015 Sep 11.

Effect of Ivabradine on Numbers Needed to Treat for the Prevention of Recurrent Hospitalizations in Heart Failure Patients

Randomized Controlled Trial

Effect of Ivabradine on Numbers Needed to Treat for the Prevention of Recurrent Hospitalizations in Heart Failure Patients

Jennifer K Rogers et al. Curr Med Res Opin. .


Background: Ivabradine, a specific heart rate lowering agent, was shown in the SHIFT study to reduce time to first hospitalization for worsening heart failure (HF) in chronic systolic HF patients and also to reduce recurrent/total hospitalizations over the study interval. We assessed the effects of adding ivabradine in patients with systolic HF on the number needed to treat (NNT) to reduce recurrent hospitalizations.

Methods: The SHIFT trial included 6505 patients with symptomatic HF (NYHA II-IV), left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35% and heart rate ≥70 bpm in sinus rhythm. Patients were randomized to either ivabradine or placebo in addition to guidelines-based drug therapy. The times to first hospitalization were analyzed using a univariate Cox proportional-hazards model; the associated NNT was calculated using Kaplan-Meier estimates of the time-to-event curves at 1 year in each treatment arm. Recurrent hospitalizations were analyzed using a negative binomial and the estimated annual event rates used to calculate the associated patient-time NNTs respectively.

Results: The estimated NNT (number needed to initiate treatment with ivabradine to prevent one first HF hospitalization within 1 year) was 27 (estimated hazard ratio: 0.75, P < 0.0001). For recurrent HF hospitalizations, one event would be prevented on average per 14 patient-years for any year of follow-up over the course of SHIFT (estimated rate ratio: 0.71, P < 0.0001). A key limitation of this analysis is that it did not account for a relationship between recurrent HF hospitalizations and subsequent mortality.

Conclusion: In chronic systolic HF the effect of ivabradine on reducing recurrent HF hospitalizations results in a lower NNT compared to the effect on the time for first hospitalization. The effect of ivabradine on recurrent hospitalizations, in addition to first events, may be a more appropriate measure when considering the impact of a treatment with ivabradine on healthcare resource utilization.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Heart failure; Hospitalization; Ivabradine; Number needed to treat; Recurrent events.

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