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1.  Patient-centered disease management (PCDM) for heart failure: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Background
Chronic heart failure (HF) disease management programs have reported inconsistent results and have not included comorbid depression management or specifically focused on improving patient-reported outcomes. The Patient Centered Disease Management (PCDM) trial was designed to test the effectiveness of collaborative care disease management in improving health status (symptoms, functioning, and quality of life) in patients with HF who reported poor HF-specific health status.
Methods/design
Patients with a HF diagnosis at four VA Medical Centers were identified through population-based sampling. Patients with a Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ, a measure of HF-specific health status) score of < 60 (heavy symptom burden and impaired quality of life) were invited to enroll in the PCDM trial. Enrolled patients were randomized to receive usual care or the PCDM intervention, which included: (1) collaborative care management by VA clinicians including a nurse, cardiologist, internist, and psychiatrist, who worked with patients and their primary care providers to provide guideline-concordant care management, (2) home telemonitoring and guided patient self-management support, and (3) screening and treatment for comorbid depression. The primary study outcome is change in overall KCCQ score. Secondary outcomes include depression, medication adherence, guideline-based care, hospitalizations, and mortality.
Discussion
The PCDM trial builds on previous studies of HF disease management by prioritizing patient health status, implementing a collaborative care model of health care delivery, and addressing depression, a key barrier to optimal disease management. The study has been designed as an ‘effectiveness trial’ to support broader implementation in the healthcare system if it is successful.
Trial registration
Unique identifier: NCT00461513
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-49
PMCID: PMC3718720  PMID: 23837415
Heart failure; Clinical trial; Patient reported outcomes; Quality of life; Health status
2.  Increased Mortality among Survivors of Myocardial Infarction with Kidney Dysfunction: the Contribution of Gaps in the use of Guideline-Based Therapies 
Background
We assessed the degree to which differences in guideline-based medical therapy for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) contribute to the higher mortality associated with kidney disease.
Methods
In the PREMIER registry, we evaluated patients from 19 US centers surviving AMI. Cox regression evaluated the association between estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and time to death over two years, adjusting for demographic and clinical variables. The contribution of variation in guideline-based medical therapy to differences in mortality was then assessed by evaluating the incremental change in the hazard ratios after further adjustment for therapy.
Results
Of 2426 patients, 26% had GFR ≥ 90, 44% had GFR = 60- < 90, 22% had GFR = 30- < 60, and 8% had GFR < 30 ml/min/1.73 m2. Greater degrees of renal dysfunction were associated with greater 2-year mortality and lower rates of guideline-based therapy among eligible patients. For patients with severely decreased GFR, adjustment for differences in guideline-based therapy did not significantly attenuate the relationship with mortality (HR 3.82, 95% CI 2.39–6.11 partially adjusted; HR = 3.90, 95% CI 2.42–6.28 after adjustment for treatment differences).
Conclusion
Higher mortality associated with reduced GFR after AMI is not accounted for by differences in treatment factors, underscoring the need for novel therapies specifically targeting the pathophysiological abnormalities associated with kidney dysfunction to improve survival.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-29
PMCID: PMC2716301  PMID: 19586550
3.  Impaired heart rate recovery is associated with new-onset atrial fibrillation: a prospective cohort study 
Background
Autonomic dysfunction appears to play a significant role in the development of atrial fibrillation (AF), and impaired heart rate recovery (HRR) during exercise treadmill testing (ETT) is a known marker for autonomic dysfunction. However, whether impaired HRR is associated with incident AF is unknown. We studied the association of impaired HRR with the development of incident AF, after controlling for demographic and clinical confounders.
Methods
We studied 8236 patients referred for ETT between 2001 and 2004, and without a prior history of AF. Patients were categorized by normal or impaired HRR on ETT. The primary outcome was the development of AF. Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to control for demographic and clinical characteristics. Secondary analyses exploring a continuous relationship between impaired HRR and AF, and exploring interactions between cardiac medication use, HRR, and AF were also conducted.
Results
After adjustment, patients with impaired HRR were more likely to develop AF than patients with normal HRR (HR 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06, 1.93). In addition, there was a linear trend between impaired HRR and AF (HR 1.05 for each decreasing BPM in HRR, 95% CI 0.99, 1.11). No interactions between cardiac medications, HRR, and AF were noted.
Conclusion
Patients with impaired HRR on ETT were more likely to develop new-onset AF, as compared to patients with normal HRR. These findings support the hypothesis that autonomic dysfunction mediates the development of AF, and suggest that interventions known to improve HRR, such as exercise training, may delay or prevent AF.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-9-11
PMCID: PMC2660286  PMID: 19284627
4.  One-year health status outcomes of unstable angina versus myocardial infarction: a prospective, observational cohort study of ACS survivors 
Background
Unstable angina (UA) patients have lower mortality and reinfarction risks than ST-elevation (STEMI) or non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) patients and, accordingly, receive less aggressive treatment. Little is known, however, about the health status outcomes (angina, physical function, and quality of life) of UA versus MI patients among survivors of an ACS hospitalization.
Methods
In a cohort of 1,192 consecutively enrolled ACS survivors from two Kansas City hospitals, we evaluated the associations between ACS presentation (UA, NSTEMI, and STEMI) and one-year health status (angina, physical functioning and quality of life), one-year cardiac rehospitalization rates, and two-year mortality outcomes, using multivariable regression modeling.
Results
After multivariable adjustment for demographic, hospital, co-morbidity, baseline health status, and treatment characteristics, UA patients had a greater prevalence of angina at 1 year than STEMI patients (adjusted relative risk [RR] = 1.42; 95% CI [1.06, 1.90]) and similar rates as NSTEMI patients (adjusted RR = 1.1; 95% CI [0.85, 1.42]). In addition, UA patients fared no better than MI patients in Short Form-12 physical component scores (UA vs. STEMI score difference -0.05 points; 95% CI [-2.41, 2.3]; UA vs. NSTEMI score difference -1.91 points; 95% CI [-4.01, 0.18]) or Seattle Angina Questionnaire quality of life scores (UA vs. STEMI score difference -1.39 points; 95% CI [-5.63, 2.85]; UA vs. NSTEMI score difference -0.24 points 95% CI [-4.01, 3.54]). Finally, UA patients had similar rehospitalization rates as MI patients (UA vs. STEMI adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.31; 95% CI [0.86, 1.99]; UA vs. NSTEMI adjusted HR = 1.03; 95% CI [0.73, 1.47]), despite better 2-year survival (UA vs. STEMI adjusted HR = 0.51; 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.28, 0.95]; UA vs. NSTEMI adjusted HR = 0.40; 95% CI [0.24, 0.65]).
Conclusion
Although UA patients have better survival rates, they have similar or worse one-year health status outcomes and cardiac rehospitalization rates as compared with MI patients. Clinicians should be aware of the adverse health status outcome risks for UA patients and consider close monitoring for the opportunity to improve their health status and minimize the need for subsequent rehospitalization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-7-28
PMCID: PMC2014769  PMID: 17850662
5.  Adherence to cardioprotective medications and mortality among patients with diabetes and ischemic heart disease 
Background
Patients with diabetes and ischemic heart disease (IHD) are at high risk for adverse cardiac outcomes. Clinical practice guidelines recommend multiple cardioprotective medications to reduce recurrent events. We evaluated the association between cardioprotective medication adherence and mortality among patients with diabetes and IHD.
Methods
In a retrospective cohort study of 3,998 patients with diabetes and IHD, we evaluated use of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, β-blockers, and statin medications. Receipt of cardioprotective medications was based on filled prescriptions. Medication adherence was calculated as the proportion of days covered (PDC) for filled prescriptions. The primary outcome of interest was all-cause mortality.
Results
The majority of patients (92.8%) received at least 1 cardioprotective medication. Patients receiving any medications had lower unadjusted mortality rates compared to patients not receiving any medications (7.9% vs. 11.5%; p = 0.03). In multivariable analysis, receipt of any cardioprotective medication remained associated with lower all-cause mortality (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.43–0.99). Among patients receiving cardioprotective medications, the majority (80.3%) were adherent (PDC ≥ 0.80). Adherent patients had lower unadjusted mortality rates (6.7% vs. 12.1%; p < 0.01). In multivariable analysis, medication adherence remained associated with lower all-cause mortality (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.39–0.69) compared to non-adherence. In contrast, there was no mortality difference between patients receiving cardioprotective medications who were non-adherent compared to patients not receiving any medications (OR 1.01; 95% CI 0.64–1.61).
Conclusion
In conclusion, medication adherence is associated with improved outcomes among patients with diabetes and IHD. Quality improvement interventions are needed to increase medication adherence in order for patients to maximize the benefit of cardioprotective medications.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-6-48
PMCID: PMC1762024  PMID: 17173679
6.  The impact of diabetes on one-year health status outcomes following acute coronary syndromes 
Background
Diabetes is an important predictor of mortality patients with ACS. However, little is known about the association between diabetes and health status after ACS. The objective of this study was to examine the association between diabetes and patients' health status outcomes one year after an acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Methods
This was a prospective cohort study of patients hospitalized with ACS. Patients were evaluated at baseline and one year with the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ). Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics were ascertained during index ACS hospitalization. One year SAQ Angina Frequency, Physical Limitation, and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) scales were the primary outcomes of the study.
Results
Of 1199 patients, 326 (37%) had diabetes. Patients with diabetes were more likely to present with unstable angina (52% vs. 40%; p < 0.001), less likely to present with STEMI (20% vs. 31%; p < 0.001), and less likely to undergo coronary angiography (68% vs. 82%; p < 0.001). In multivariable analyses, the presence of diabetes was associated with significantly more angina (OR 1.36; 95% CI 1.01–1.38), cardiac-related physical limitation (OR 1.94; 95% CI 1.57–3.24) and HRQoL deficits (OR 1.43; 95% CI 1.01–2.04) at one year.
Conclusion
Diabetes is associated with more angina, worse physical limitation, and worse HRQoL one year after an ACS. Future studies should assess whether health status outcomes of patients with diabetes could be improved through more aggressive ACS treatment or post-discharge surveillance and angina management.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-6-41
PMCID: PMC1635061  PMID: 17062160
7.  The association between processes, structures and outcomes of secondary prevention care among VA ischemic heart disease patients 
Background
Hyperlipidemia and hypertension are well-established risk factors for recurrent cardiovascular events among patients with ischemic heart disease (IHD). Despite national recommendations, concordance with guidelines for LDL cholesterol and blood pressure remains inadequate. The objectives of this study were to 1) determine concordance rates with LDL cholesterol and BP recommendations; and 2) identify patient factors, processes and structures of care associated with guideline concordance among VA IHD patients.
Methods
This was a cross sectional study of veterans with IHD from 8 VA hospitals. Outcomes were concordance with LDL guideline recommendations (LDL<100 mg/dl), and BP recommendations (<140/90 mm Hg). Cumulative logit and hierarchical logistic regression analyses were performed to identify patient factors, processes, and structures of care independently associated with guideline concordance.
Results
Of 14,114 veterans with IHD, 55.7% had hypertension, 71.5% had hyperlipidemia, and 41.6% had both conditions. Guideline concordance for LDL and BP were 38.9% and 53.4%, respectively. However, only 21.9% of the patients achieved both LDL <100 mg/dl and BP <140/90 mm Hg. In multivariable analyses, patient factors including older age and the presence of vascular disease were associated with worse guideline concordance. In contrast, diabetes was associated with better guideline concordance. Several process of care variables, including higher number of outpatient visits, higher number of prescribed medications, and a recent cardiac hospitalization were associated with better guideline concordance. Among structures of care, having on-site cardiology was associated with a trend towards better guideline concordance.
Conclusion
Guideline concordance with secondary prevention measures among IHD patients remains suboptimal. It is hoped that the findings of this study can serve as an impetus for quality improvement efforts to improve upon secondary prevention measures and reduce the morbidity and mortality of patients with known IHD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-6-6
PMCID: PMC1413554  PMID: 16469100

Results 1-7 (7)