Age-Related Differences in the Use of Cardiac Medications in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

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Abstract

Background

Benefits of aspirin and beta-blocker use in patients with coronary artery disease and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction are well documented in all age groups.

Objective

To investigate whether aspirin, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors are equally used in geriatric (≥65 years) versus younger (<65 years) patients with coronary artery disease.

Setting

University-affiliated major academic hospital.

Methods

Records of 402 patients with coronary artery disease were analyzed for use of aspirin, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors. One hundred thirty patients with contraindications to use of these agents were excluded.

Results

Of 272 study patients, 85% were using aspirin and 71% beta-blockers. Among the patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, 79% were using ACE inhibitors. One hundred forty-seven patients were of geriatric age, whereas 125 were of younger age. No significant difference in the use of aspirin (82% versus 89%, P = 0.10), beta-blockers (71% versus 70%, P = 0.85), or ACE inhibitors (86% versus 69%, P = 0.13) was found between geriatric and younger patients. This lack of difference in use of cardiac medications between geriatric and younger patients persisted on gender-based subgroup analysis. On decade-of-age–based analysis, aspirin use was not equally distributed among all the decades of age (P < 0.005), but beta-blocker use was.

Conclusion

Results of this study demonstrate equal use of aspirin, beta-blockers, and ACE inhibitors in geriatric versus younger patients with coronary artery disease. Aspirin use was not equally distributed among all the decades of age.

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