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Articles by G. C Fonarow
Total Records ( 9 ) for G. C Fonarow
  T. Y Wang , G. C Fonarow , A. F Hernandez , L Liang , G Ellrodt , B. K Nallamothu , B. R Shah , C. P Cannon and E. D. Peterson

Background  Recent initiatives have focused on reducing door-to-balloon (DTB) times among patients with acute myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. However, DTB time is only one of several important AMI care processes. It is unclear whether quality efforts targeted to a single process will facilitate concomitant improvement in other quality measures and outcomes.

Methods  This study examined 101 hospitals (43 678 patients with AMI) in the Get With the Guidelines program. For each hospital, DTB time improvement from 2005 to 2007 was correlated with changes in composite Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (CMS/JCAHO) core measure performance and in-hospital mortality.

Results  Between 2005 and 2007, hospital geometric mean DTB time decreased from 101 to 87 minutes (P < .001). Mean overall hospital composite CMS/JCAHO core measure performance increased from 93.4% to 96.4% (P < .001), and mortality rates were 5.1% and 4.7% (P = .09) in the early and late periods, respectively. Improvement in hospital DTB time, however, was not significantly correlated with changes in composite quality performance (r = –0.06; P = .55) or with in-hospital mortality (r = 0.06; P = .58). After adjustment for patient mix, hospitals with the most improvement in DTB time did not have significantly greater improvements in either CMS/JCAHO measure performance or mortality.

Conclusions  Within the Get With the Guidelines program, DTB times decreased significantly over time. However, there was minimal correlation between DTB time improvement and changes in other quality measures or mortality. These results emphasize the important need for comprehensive acute myocardial infarction quality-improvement efforts, rather than focusing on single process measures.

  G. C Fonarow , T Gregory , M Driskill , M. D Stewart , C Beam , J Butler , A. K Jacobs , N. M Meltzer , E. D Peterson , L. H Schwamm , J. A Spertus , C. W Yancy , G. F Tomaselli and R. L. Sacco

Cardiovascular disease and stroke remain leading causes of mortality, disability, and rising healthcare expenditures in the United States. Although a number of organizations provide hospital accreditation, recognition, and certification programs, existing programs do not address cardiovascular disease and stroke care in a comprehensive way. Current evidence suggests mixed findings for correlation between accreditation, recognition, and certification programs and hospitals' actual quality of care and outcomes. This advisory discusses potential opportunities to develop and enhance hospital certification programs for cardiovascular disease and stroke. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is uniquely positioned as a patient-centered, respected, transparent healthcare organization to help drive improvements in care and outcomes for patients hospitalized with cardiovascular disease and stroke. As a part of its commitment to promoting high-quality, evidence-based care for cardiovascular and stroke patients, it is recommended that the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association explore hospital certification programs to develop truly meaningful programs to facilitate improvements in and recognition for cardiovascular disease and stroke quality of care and outcomes. Future strategies should standardize objective, unbiased assessments of hospital structural, process, and outcome performance while allowing flexibility as technology and methodology advances occur.

  E. D Peterson , M. T Roe , J. S Rumsfeld , R. E Shaw , R. G Brindis , G. C Fonarow and C. P. Cannon

Background— There is a recognized need for a national unified registry to track presenting features, care, and outcomes for patients with acute myocardial infarction. To address this need, the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines–Coronary Artery Disease program joined the Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network (ACTION) Registry to create the National Cardiovascular Data Registry ACTION–Get With the Guidelines (AR-G) in June of 2008. This article outlines the objectives, operational structure, patient population, data elements, data collection methodology, and reporting components of this landmark registry.

Methods and Results— The AR-G was launched in January of 2007. The registry is led by a team of volunteers from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, and its data coordinating center resides at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. As of December 2008, 344 US hospitals already contributed detailed clinical information on 103 890 myocardial infarction patients (inclusive of 39% ST-segment myocardial infarction and 61% non–ST-segment myocardial infarction patients). Overall data quality has been excellent, with <5% clinical fields missing. Site quality improvement efforts are supported via detailed quarterly feedback reports, routine web educational programs, and sharing of "best practice" clinical support tools.

Conclusions— The AR-G represents a unified, national, acute myocardial infarction registry and supports a robust quality improvement effort designed to encourage evidence-based acute myocardial infarction care and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes.

  P. N Peterson , J. S Rumsfeld , L Liang , N. M Albert , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , G. C Fonarow , F. A Masoudi and on behalf of the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines Heart Failure Program

Background— Effective risk stratification can inform clinical decision-making. Our objective was to derive and validate a risk score for in-hospital mortality in patients hospitalized with heart failure using American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines–Heart Failure (GWTG-HF) program data.

Methods and Results— A cohort of 39 783 patients admitted January 1, 2005, to June 26, 2007, to 198 hospitals participating in GWTG-HF was divided into derivation (70%, n=27 850) and validation (30%, n=11 933) samples. Multivariable logistic regression identified predictors of in-hospital mortality in the derivation sample from candidate demographic, medical history, and laboratory variables collected at admission. In-hospital mortality rate was 2.86% (n=1139). Age, systolic blood pressure, blood urea nitrogen, heart rate, sodium, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and nonblack race were predictive of in-hospital mortality. The model had good discrimination in the derivation and validation datasets (c-index, 0.75 in each). Effect estimates from the entire sample were used to generate a mortality risk score. The predicted probability of in-hospital mortality varied more than 24-fold across deciles (range, 0.4% to 9.7%) and corresponded with observed mortality rates. The model had the same operating characteristics among those with preserved and impaired left ventricular systolic function. The morality risk score can be calculated on the Web-based calculator available with the GWTG-HF data entry tool.

Conclusions— The GWTG-HF risk score uses commonly available clinical variables to predict in-hospital mortality and provides clinicians with a validated tool for risk stratification that is applicable to a broad spectrum of patients with heart failure, including those with preserved left ventricular systolic function.

  G. C Fonarow , M. J Reeves , E. E Smith , J. L Saver , X Zhao , D. W Olson , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , L. H Schwamm and on behalf of the GWTG Stroke Steering Committee and Investigators

Background— Stroke results in substantial death and disability. To address this burden, Get With The Guideline (GWTG)-Stroke was developed to facilitate the measurement, tracking, and improvement in quality of care and outcomes for acute stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients in the United States.

Methods and Results— We analyzed the characteristics, performance measures, and in-hospital outcomes in the first 1 000 000 acute ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and TIA admissions from 1392 hospitals that participated in the GWTG-Stroke Program 2003 to 2009. Patients were 53.5% women, 73.3% white, and with mean age of 70.1±14.9 years. There were 601 599 (60.2%) ischemic strokes, 108 671 (10.9%) intracerebral hemorrhages, 34 945 (3.5%) subarachnoid hemorrhages, 26 977 (2.7%) strokes not classified, and 227 788 (22.8%) TIAs. Performance measures showed small to moderate differences by cerebrovascular event type. In-hospital mortality rate was highest among intracerebral hemorrhage (25.0%) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (20.4%), and intermediate in ischemic stroke (5.5%) patients and lowest among TIA patients (0.3%). Significant improvements over time from 2003 to 2009 in quality of care were observed: all-or-none measure, 44.0% versus 84.3% (+40.3%, P<0.0001). After adjustment for patient and hospital variables, the cumulative adjusted odds ratio for the all-or-none measure over the 6 years was 9.4 (95% confidence interval, 8.3 to 10.6, P<0.0001). Temporal improvements in length of stay and risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate (for ischemic stroke and TIA) were also observed.

Conclusions— With more than 1 million patients enrolled, GWTG-Stroke represents an integrated stroke and TIA registry that supports national surveillance, innovative research, and sustained quality improvement efforts facilitating evidence-based stroke/TIA care.

  P. N Peterson , J. S Rumsfeld , L Liang , A. F Hernandez , E. D Peterson , G. C Fonarow , F. A Masoudi and on behalf of the American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines Heart Failure Program

Background— Although the absolute benefits of an intervention are proportional to patients’ underlying risk, studies in heart failure have noted a paradoxical inverse relationship between treatment and risk. The extent to which this reflects higher rates of contraindications in patients with higher risk or larger gaps in care quality has not been explored.

Methods and Results— We studied 18 307 patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction surviving hospitalization between January 2005 and June 2007 from 194 hospitals participating in Get With The Guidelines (GWTG)–Heart Failure. Patients were categorized according to their estimated risk for in-hospital mortality using a validated risk score. The proportions of patients with documented contraindications to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers and β-blockers as well as the use of these medications among patients without contraindications at hospital discharge was determined across levels of risk. For each therapy, the proportion of patients with contraindications was significantly higher with increasing patient risk (P<0.001 for each). Even after excluding those with contraindications, the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers and β-blockers was significantly lower with increasing risk (P<0.001 for each).

Conclusions— The use of evidence-based therapies is lower in patients with heart failure at higher risk of mortality both because of higher rates of contraindications to therapy and lower rates of use among eligible patients. Optimizing heart failure outcomes will require both the expansion of the evidence base for treating the highest-risk patients as well as the development of effective strategies to assure that eligible high-risk patients receive all appropriate therapies.

  A. F Hernandez , G. C Fonarow , B. G Hammill , S. M Al Khatib , C. W Yancy , C. M O'Connor , K. A Schulman , E. D Peterson and L. H. Curtis

Background— The clinical effectiveness of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) in older patients with heart failure has not been established, and older patients have been underrepresented in previous studies.

Methods and Results— We identified patients with heart failure who were aged 65 years or older and were eligible for an ICD, had left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less, and were discharged alive from hospitals participating in the Organized Program to Initiate Lifesaving Treatment in Hospitalized Patients With Heart Failure and the Get With the Guidelines–Heart Failure quality-improvement programs during the period January 1, 2003, through December 31, 2006. We matched the patients to Medicare claims to examine long-term outcomes. The main outcome measure was all-cause mortality over 3 years. The study population included 4685 patients who were discharged alive and were eligible for an ICD. Mean age was 75.2 years, 60% of the patients were women, mean ejection fraction was 25%, and 376 (8.0%) patients received an ICD before discharge. Mortality was significantly lower among patients who received an ICD compared with those who did not (19.8% versus 27.6% at 1 year, 30.9% versus 41.9% at 2 years, and 38.1% versus 52.3% at 3 years; P<0.001 for all comparisons). The inverse probability-weighted adjusted hazard of mortality at 3 years for patients receiving an ICD was 0.71 (95% CI, 0.56 to 0.91).

Conclusions— Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized with heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less who were selected for ICD therapy had lower risk-adjusted long-term mortality compared with those who did not receive an ICD.

Clinical Trial Registration— Identifier: NCT00344513.

  J. T Heywood , G. C Fonarow , C. W Yancy , N. M Albert , A. B Curtis , M Gheorghiade , P. J Inge , M. L McBride , M. R Mehra , C. M O'Connor , D Reynolds and M. N. Walsh

Few data exist to characterize the delivery of evidence-based medical therapy for outpatients with heart failure who have received implantable cardioverter-defibrillators or cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for systolic dysfunction.

Methods and Results—

IMPROVE HF is a prospective study characterizing the management of 15 381 outpatients with systolic heart failure (left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%) enrolled from 167 US cardiology practices. Data were abstracted for dose, type, and daily frequency for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, β-blockers, and aldosterone antagonists. Target doses for each medication class were based on current guidelines. Patients with devices (implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, CRT with defibrillators, or CRT with pacemakers) more frequently received evidence-based medical therapy than did those without such devices, although treatment at or above target doses was low for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (implantable cardioverter-defibrillators 32.6%, CRT with pacemaker 30.7%, CRT with defibrillator 32.0%, no device 34.6%) and β-blockers (20.2%, 17.4%, 20.4%, and 15.3%, respectively). Fewer patients received aldosterone antagonists, although when used, doses were more frequently within the target dosing range (70.1%, 72.1%, 72.7%, and 76.5%, respectively). Multivariable models showed that use of CRT with defibrillators and CRT with pacemakers was significantly associated with delivery of β-blockers at or above target doses, but no device therapies were associated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker or aldosterone antagonist dosing.


Patients treated with heart failure devices received evidence-based medical therapy at similar or greater frequency than did those without such devices. Patients with CRT with defibrillator or CRT with pacemaker devices were more likely to be treated with target doses of β-blockers than were patients not treated with device therapy. Doses of evidenced-based therapies remain significantly lower in clinical practice than in clinical trials.

Clinical Trial Registration—

URL: Unique identifier: NCT00303979.

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