Published: 19-01-2024 16:10 | Updated: 19-01-2024 16:10

New thesis studies treatment in geriatric heart failure patients

Hi Marianne Reimers Wessberg, doctoral student at the Division of Clinical Geriatrics. On February 2 you will defend your thesis "Aspects on heart failure and drug treatment in geriatric patients". What is the main focus of the thesis?

Research on heart failure has traditionally focused on younger patients in cardiological care, but in fact heart failure is the most common diagnosis in geriatric care. We wanted to study investigations and treatment in geriatric heart failure patients. We also wanted to evaluate correlations between high activity and high quality in drug prescription.  

Which are the most important results?  

Geriatric heart failure patients were often not investigated according to clinical guidelines. At admission to geriatric care, their type of heart failure was seldom presented and the level almost never. The geriatric care performed very little additional contribution to investigation and treatment. Relevant information was often not transferred to primary care. Reasons for these findings may be lack of assignment and short care episodes. However, in a separate study, we found that patients with heart failure and Alzheimer’s dementia who were treated with cholinesterase inhibitors had large reductions in risk of hospitalization compared to those without treatment. Further, I found that high activity in prescription changes correlated to higher quality in prescribing and to longer care episodes. 

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people's health?  

Geriatric heart failure patients would benefit from better systematic cooperation between cardiology, geriatrics, and primary care to sharpen diagnostics and articulate treatment plans. 

What's in the future for you? Will you continue to conduct research?  

I am curious on the effect of cholinesterase inhibitors in heart failure patients without Alzheimer’s dementia.