Heart Failure Drug Treatment-Inertia, Titration, and Discontinuation: A Multinational Observational Study (EVOLUTION HF)

Background: Guidelines recommend early initiation of multiple guideline-directed medical therapies (GDMTs) to reduce mortality/rehospitalization in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. Understanding GDMT use is critical to improving clinical practice.

Objectives: This study sought to describe GDMT use in Japan, Sweden, and the United States in contemporary real-world settings.

Methods: EVOLUTION HF (Utilization of Dapagliflozin and Other Guideline Directed Medical Therapies in Heart Failure Patients: A Multinational Observational Study Based on Secondary Data) is an observational cohort study using routine-care databases. Patients initiating any GDMT within 12 months of a hospitalization for heart failure (hHF) discharge were included. Dapagliflozin (the only sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor approved at study onset), sacubitril/valsartan, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) were considered separately. Doses and discontinuation were assessed in the 12 months following initiation. Target dose was defined as ≥100% of the guideline-recommended dose.

Results: Overall, 266,589 patients were included. Mean times from hHF to GDMT initiation were longer for novel GDMTs (dapagliflozin or sacubitril/valsartan) than for other GDMTs: 39 and 44 vs 12 to 13 days (Japan), 44 and 33 vs 22 to 31 days (Sweden), and 33 and 19 vs 18 to 24 days (United States). Pooled across countries, proportions of patients who discontinued therapy (not including switches from ACE inhibitor or ARB to sacubitril/valsartan) within 12 months were 23.5% (dapagliflozin), 26.4% (sacubitril/valsartan), 38.4% (ACE inhibitors), 33.4% (ARBs), 25.2% (beta-blockers), and 42.2% (MRAs). Corresponding target dose achievements were 75.7%, 28.2%, 20.1%, 6.7%, 7.2%, and 5.1%, respectively.

Conclusions: Initiation of novel GDMTs is delayed compared with other GDMTs. Few patients received target doses of GDMTs requiring uptitration. Persistence was higher for dapagliflozin than other GDMTs.