BACKGROUND: Evidence supporting nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk reduction is variable. We aim to examine nonstatin utilization and expenditures in the United States between 2002 and 2013. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey database to estimate national trends in nonstatin use and cost (total and out-of-pocket, adjusted to 2013 US dollars using a gross domestic product deflator) among adults 40 years or older. Nonstatin users increased from 3 million (2.5%) in 2002-2003 (20.1 million prescriptions) to 8 million (5.6%) in 2012-2013 (45.8 million prescriptions). Among adults with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, nonstatin use increased from 7.5% in 2002-2003 to 13.9% in 2012-2013 after peaking at 20.3% in 2006-2007. In 2012-2013, 15.9% of high-intensity statin users also used nonstatins, versus 9.7% of low/moderate-intensity users and 3.6% of statin nonusers. Nonstatin use was significantly lower among women (odds ratio 0.80; 95% confidence interval 0.75-0.86), racial/ethnic minorities (odds ratio 0.41; 95% confidence interval 0.36-0.47), and the uninsured (odds ratio 0.47; 95% confidence interval 0.40-0.56). Total nonstatin expenditures increased from $1.7 billion (out-of-pocket cost, $0.7 billion) in 2002-2003 to $7.9 billion (out-of-pocket cost $1.6 billion) in 2012-2013, as per-user nonstatin expenditure increased from $550 to $992. Nonstatin expenditure as a proportion of all lipid-lowering therapy expenditure increased 4-fold from 8% to 32%. CONCLUSIONS: Between 2002 and 2013, nonstatin use increased by 124%, resulting in a 364% increase in nonstatin-associated expenditures.
BACKGROUND: Older hospitalized acute decompensated heart failure (HF) patients have persistently poor outcomes and delayed recovery regardless of ejection fraction (EF). We hypothesized that impairments in physical function, frailty, cognition, mood, and quality of life (QoL) potentially contributing to poor clinical outcomes would be similarly severe in acute decompensated HF patients >/=60 years of age with preserved versus reduced EF (HFpEF and HFrEF). METHODS AND RESULTS: In 202 consecutive older (>/=60 years) hospitalized acute decompensated HF patients in a multicenter trial, we prospectively performed at baseline: short physical performance battery, 6-minute walk distance, frailty assessment, Geriatric Depression Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and QoL assessments. Older acute decompensated HFpEF (EF >/=45%, n=96) and HFrEF (EF <45%, n=106) patients had similar impairments in all physical function measures (short physical performance battery [5.9+/-0.3 versus 6.2+/-0.2]; 6-minute walk distance [184+/-10 versus 186+/-9 m]; and gait speed [0.60+/-0.02 versus 0.61+/-0.02 m/s]) and rates of frailty (55% versus 52%; P=0.70) and cognitive impairment (77% versus 81%; P=0.56) when adjusted for differences in sex, body mass index, and comorbidities. However, depression and QoL were consistently worse in HFpEF versus HFrEF. Depression was usually unrecognized clinically with 38% having Geriatric Depression Scale >/=5 and no documented history of depression. CONCLUSIONS: Patients >/=60 years hospitalized with acute decompensated HF patients have broad, marked impairments in physical function and high rates of frailty and impaired cognition: these impairments are similar in HFpEF versus HFrEF. Further, depression was common and QoL was reduced, and both were worse in HFpEF than HFrEF. Depression was usually unrecognized clinically. These findings suggest opportunities for novel interventions to improve these important patient-centered outcomes. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT02196038.
Heart failure (HF) is an increasingly prevalent condition with a very high symptom burden. To address challenges faced by palliative care clinicians, we assembled a team of experts to provide high-yield tips for the management of these patients. Prognosis is unpredictable in HF and many patients and physicians overestimate survival. Ejection fraction, notably, is not predictive of prognosis. It is important to have thorough discussions about implantable cardioverter defibrillators in terminally ill HF patients. Diuresis is the mainstay of managing volume overload and dyspnea in these patients and it is important to be aggressive and creative to achieve symptom relief. However, HF patients have a high burden of comorbidities and have many symptoms beyond dyspnea as well. Management in hospice remains challenging for these patients, with a significant risk for readmission to the hospital. Almost a quarter of HF patients discharged to hospice from the hospital die in less than three days.
BACKGROUND: Deaths from drug intoxication have increased in the United States but outcomes of recipients of orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) from these donors are not well characterized. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the United Network for Organ Sharing's STAR database between January 2000 and March 2014 and assessed mortality and retransplantation using adjusted Cox models by mechanism of donor death. RESULTS: Of the 31,660 OHTs from 2000 to 2014, 1233 (3.9%) were from drug intoxication. These donors were more likely to be female, white, with greater tobacco use and higher BMI compared to donors who died of other mechanisms. Drug intoxication accounted for 1.1% of OHT donors in 2000 and 6.2% in March 2014. No significant difference was observed in 10-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.99, 0.87-1.13), 10-year retransplantation (adjusted HR 0.84, 0.49-1.41) or 1-year and 3-year rehospitalization with other mechanisms of death compared to drug intoxication. CONCLUSION: There has been a large increase in OHT donors who die of drug intoxication in the United States. OHT outcomes from these donors are similar to those dying from other mechanisms. These data have important implications for donor selection in context of the ongoing opioid epidemic.
Importance: While 1 in 10 older patients hospitalized with heart failure (HF) die within 30 days, end-of-life care for this population is not well described. Objective: To assess rates of discharge to hospice, readmission after hospice, and survival in hospice in patients following hospital discharge. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this observational cohort analysis of patients in the multicenter American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)-HF registry linked to Medicare fee-for-service claims data, we analyzed patients 65 years and older discharged alive from the hospital between 2005 and 2014. We compared 4588 patients discharged to hospice with 4357 patients with advanced HF (ejection fraction /=45 mg/dL [to convert to micromoles per liter, multiply by 0.357], systolic blood pressure