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Ivabradine as adjuvant treatment for chronic heart failure

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Abstract

Background: Chronic heart failure is one of the most common medical conditions, affecting more than 23 million people worldwide. Despite established guideline-based, multidrug pharmacotherapy, chronic heart failure is still the cause of frequent hospitalisation, and about 50% die within five years of diagnosis. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and safety of ivabradine in individuals with chronic heart failure. Search methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and CPCI-S Web of Science in March 2020. We also searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO ICTRP. We checked reference lists of included studies. We did not apply any time or language restrictions. Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials in which adult participants diagnosed with chronic heart failure were randomly assigned to receive either ivabradine or placebo/usual care/no treatment. We distinguished between type of heart failure (heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction or heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction) as well as between duration of ivabradine treatment (short term (< 6 months) or long term (≥ 6 months)). Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion, extracted data, and checked data for accuracy. We calculated risk ratios (RR) using a random-effects model. We completed a comprehensive ’Risk of bias’ assessment for all studies. We contacted authors for missing data. Our primary endpoints were: mortality from cardiovascular causes; quality of life; time to first hospitalisation for heart failure during follow-up; and number of days spent in hospital due to heart failure during follow-up. Our secondary endpoints were: rate of serious adverse events; exercise capacity; and economic costs (narrative report). We assessed the certainty of the evidence applying the GRADE methodology. Main results: We included 19 studies (76 reports) involving a total of 19,628 participants (mean age 60.76 years, 69% male). However, few studies contributed data to meta-analyses due to inconsistency in trial design (type of heart failure) and outcome reporting and measurement. In general, risk of bias varied from low to high across the included studies, with insufficient detail provided to inform judgement in several cases. We were able to perform two meta-analyses focusing on participants with heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and long-term ivabradine treatment. There was evidence of no difference between ivabradine and placebo/usual care/no treatment for mortality from cardiovascular causes (RR 0.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88 to 1.11; 3 studies; 17,676 participants; I2 = 33%; moderate-certainty evidence). Furthermore, we found evidence of no difference in rate of serious adverse events amongst HFrEF participants randomised to receive long-term ivabradine compared with those randomised to placebo, usual care, or no treatment (RR 0.96, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.00; 2 studies; 17,399 participants; I2 = 12%; moderate-certainty evidence). We were not able to perform meta-analysis for all other outcomes, and have low confidence in the findings based on the individual studies. Authors' conclusions: We found evidence of no difference in cardiovascular mortality and serious adverse events between long-term treatment with ivabradine and placebo/usual care/no treatment in participants with heart failure with HFrEF. Nevertheless, due to indirectness (male predominance), the certainty of the available evidence is rated as moderate.

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Benstoem, C., Kalvelage, C., Breuer, T., Heussen, N., Marx, G., Stoppe, C., & Brandenburg, V. (2020). Ivabradine as adjuvant treatment for chronic heart failure. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2020(11). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013004.pub2

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