Women and the elderly are underrepresented in clinical trials of heart failure (HF). The authors analyzed, by sex and age groups, a registry of 4280 community patients initiating carvedilol for HF. Women (n=1485) were older than men (n=2793) and had worse functional class with higher left ventricular ejection fraction and blood pressure. Women also had more HF hospitalizations, less use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and lower doses of carvedilol. Nevertheless, during 1-year follow-up, both groups experienced greater than 40% reductions in HF hospitalizations (P<.001), with mortality of 7.3% in women vs 9.1% in men (P=.085). With increasing age, left ventricular ejection fraction, blood pressure, and functional class increased, whereas angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use and carvedilol doses decreased. HF hospitalizations fell at least 40% in all age groups after starting carvedilol (P<.001). Characteristics of women and the elderly with HF in the community suggest increased risk, but both populations respond well after initiating carvedilol.
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