Publication Date



The Texas Heart Journal





Publication Date(s)

June 2014





PubMedCentral® Posted Date


PubMedCentral® Full Text Version


Published Open-Access



Ambulatory care/standards, cardiovascular agents/therapeutic use, clinical trials as topic, comprehensive health care, drug utilization/statistics & numerical data, health care surveys, heart failure/drug therapy/economics/epidemiology/prevention & control, office visits/statistics & numerical data/trends/utilization, outcome assessment (health care)/trends, quality assurance, health care


Better outpatient management of heart failure might improve outcomes and reduce the number of rehospitalizations. This study describes recent outpatient heart-failure management in the United States.

We analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey of 2006–2008, a multistage random sampling of non-Federal physician offices and hospital outpatient departments.

Annually, 1.7% of all outpatient visits were for heart failure (51% females and 77% non-Hispanic whites; mean age, 73 ± 0.5 yr). Typical comorbidities were hypertension (62%), hyperlipidemia (36%), diabetes mellitus (35%), and ischemic heart disease (29%). Body weight and blood pressure were recorded in about 80% of visits, and health education was given in about 40%. The percentage of patients taking β-blockers was 38%; the percentage taking angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (ACEI/ARBs) was 32%. Medication usage did not differ significantly by race or sex. In multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models, a visit to a cardiologist, hypertension, heart failure as a primary reason for the visit, and a visit duration longer than 15 minutes were positively associated with ACEI/ARB use; and a visit to a cardiologist, heart failure as a primary reason for the visit, the presence of ischemic heart disease, and visit duration longer than 15 minutes were positively associated with β-blocker use. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was negatively associated with β-blocker use. Approximately 1% of heart-failure visits resulted in hospitalization.

In outpatient heart-failure management, gaps that might warrant attention include suboptimal health education and low usage rates of medications, specifically ACEI/ARBs and β-blockers.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.