Heart failure, chronic diuretic use, and increase in mortality and hospitalization: an observational study using propensity score methods

By | September 14, 2006

A study co-authored by Center faculty member Dr. Thomas E. Love, published in June in the European Heart Journal, found that patients with congestive heart failure who used non-potassium sparing diuretics had an increased risk for death and hospitalization compared to patients not taking diuretics, even after careful adjustment for a wide range of other factors.

Non-potassium sparing diuretics are commonly used to treat high blood pressure by reducing the amount of water and sodium in the body. These drugs are often used in the treatment of patients with heart failures. In this study, the authors analyzed data from the Digitalis Investigation Group (DIF)study, an NIH-sponsored randomized trial of 7,788 heart failure patients conducted from 1991-1993. Chronic heart failure patients in this study who were taking diuretics displayed increased risks of death and hospitalization compared to patients not taking diuretics, even after careful adjustment for a wide range of other factors. These findings challenge the wisdom of routine chronic use of diuretics in heart failure patients who have no substantial symptoms of fluid retention. (posted 9/2006) European Heart Journal, Dr. Thomas E. Love

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