BACKGROUND: Numerous clinical trials have reported conflicting results regarding the benefit of digoxin in treating heart failure (HF) patients. This study was conducted with the aim to demonstrate the impact of added digoxin to beta-blocker and beta-blocker alone on all-cause mortality and rehospitalization among these patients.
METHODS: We investigated the data of 1998 patients admitted with a primary diagnosis of decompensated HF in the prospective Persian Heart Failure Patients Registry in Iran. The outcomes of interest were time until death and time until first rehospitalization. Multivariate cox regression was used to compare the impact of beta-blocker plus digoxin and beta-blocker alone on 2.5-year survival and 90-day rehospitalization.
RESULTS: The mean age of the participants was 69.18 ± 13.26 years, and 38.1% of patients were women. The incidence rate of all-cause mortality in the total sample was 0.18 and 0.22 in patients on beta-blocker plus digoxin and beta-blocker alone, respectively [incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.25; 95% CI: 0.92-1.7]. The adjusted risk of all-cause mortality was significantly higher in women discharged with beta-blocker plus digoxin than beta-blocker groups [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.31; 95% CI: 1.27-4.19]. Rates of 90-day first rehospitalization were 0.10 and 0.12 in the beta-blocker plus digoxin and beta-blocker alone groups, respectively (IRR = 0.85; 95% CI: 0.53-1.35). After adjustment for covariates, beta-blocker plus digoxin therapy had no significant effect on increasing the risk of 90-day first rehospitalization in the total cohort (HR = 0.77; 95% CI: 0.48-1.23), in men (HR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.40-1.35), and women (HR = 0.76; 95% CI: 0.36-1.65).
CONCLUSION: In patients hospitalized with decompensated HF, digoxin administration at discharge was associated with increased 30-month mortality risk in women.