Determinants and clinical outcome of uptitration of ACE-inhibitor and beta-blocker in patients with heart failure: a prospective European study

W. Ouwerkerk, A. A. Voors (Lead / Corresponding author), S. D. Anker, J. G. Cleland, K. Dickstein, G. Filippatos, P. van der Harst, H. L. Hillege, C. C. Lang, J. M. ter Maaten, L. L. Ng, P. Ponikowski, N. J. Samani, D. J. van Veldhuisen, F. Zannad, M. Metra, A. H. Zwinderman

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Introduction: Despite clear guidelines recommendations, most patients with heart failure and reduced ejection-fraction (HFrEF) do not attain guideline-recommended target doses. We aimed to investigate characteristics and for treatment-indication-bias corrected clinical outcome of patients with HFrEF that did not reach recommended treatment
doses of ACE-inhibitors/Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and/or beta-blockers.

Methods: BIOSTAT-CHF was specifically designed to study uptitration of ACE-inhibitors/ARBs and/or beta-blockers in 2516 heart failure patients from 69 centers in 11 European countries who were selected if they were suboptimally treated while initiation or uptitration was anticipated and encouraged. Patients who died during the uptitration
period (n=151) and patients with a LVEF>40% (n=242) were excluded. Median follow up was 21 months.

Results: We studied 2100 HFrEF patients (76% male; mean age 68 ±12), of which 22% achieved the recommended treatment dose for ACE-inhibitor/ARB and 12% of betablocker.
There were marked differences between European countries. Reaching <50% of the recommended ACE-inhibitor/ARB and beta-blocker dose was associated with an increased risk of death and/or heart failure hospitalization. Patients reaching 50-99% of the recommended ACE-inhibitor/ARB and/or beta-blocker dose had comparable risk of death and/or heart failure hospitalization to those reaching ≥100%. Patients not reaching recommended dose because of symptoms, side effects and non-cardiac organ dysfunction had the highest mortality rate (for ACE-inhibitor/ARB: HR 1.72; 95% CI 1.43-2.01; for beta-blocker: HR 1.70; 95% CI 1.36-2.05).

Conclusion: Patients with HFrEF who were treated with less than 50% of recommended dose of ACE-inhibitors/ARBs and beta-blockers seemed to have a greater risk of death and/or heart failure hospitalization compared with patients reaching ≥100%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1883-1890b
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number24
Early online date11 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017


  • Heart Failure
  • Uptitration
  • ACE-inhibitor
  • ARB
  • Beta-blocker


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