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GPs 'undertreat heart failure'

GPs are undertreating patients with heart failure, new research suggests.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Nottingham found patients were less likely to receive the drugs needed to treat heart failure from their GP than from specialists.

Of the 112 patients with confirmed left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD), those under specialist care were significantly more likely to be prescribed an ACE-

inhibitor or a ß-blocker than those under GP care.

Eight per cent of patients under specialist care received spironolactone, but none of those under the care of their GP.

Dr Peter Randall, CHD lead for Isle of Wight PCT and a GP in Sandown, said: 'GPs don't have the wealth of experience with ß-blockers that the specialists do.

'We need the funding to support heart failure nurses in primary care, because we haven't had the resources and haven't been able to manage patients to the best of our abilities. These are very ill patients who would prefer to be treated in the community rather than trekking to hospital.'

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