An audit of Heart failure management among ambulatory adult patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Malawi

Emmanuel S. Mwabutwa1, Steve Kateta2, Louis Kinley2, Tadala Ulemu2 , Patrick Goodson2, Adamson S. Muula3, Johnstone Kumwenda1

1. Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences, Blantyre, Malawi

2. Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi

3. Department of Community and Environmental Health, School of Global and Public Health, Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (KUHeS), Blantyre, Malawi

*Corresponding Author: Emmanuel Mwabutwa; E-mail:



There are limited data on the clinical characteristics and use of guideline directed medical therapy among patients with heart failure in Malawi. We conducted a study to assess patient characteristics and clinical management given to heart failure patients at Queen Elizabeth Central hospital in Malawi.


In a cross sectional study, patients with a diagnosis of heart failure who were followed up in the adult chest clinic at QECH were recruited to ascertain their characteristics and the therapy they were receiving. Echocardiograms and electrocardiograms were performed to identify abnormalities.

Results A total of 79 patients were recruited and 62% (49 out of 79) were female. The median age was 60 years (IQR 40.5-70.5). Most patients were hypertensive with NYHA (New York Heart Association) class I and II symptoms. Left ventricular(LV) systolic dysfunction was found in 55% (36 out of 65), with 68% (39 out of 65) having features of left ventricular remodeling. Most patients were on at least a single neurohormonal drug with 77% (61 out of 79) on ACEI (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor), 52% (42 out of 79) on a beta blocker and 34%(27 out of 79) on aldosterone antagonists. The recommended doses of medications were achieved in 14% (9 out 61), 24% (10 out 42), 22% (6 out of 27) on ACEI, beta blockers and aldosterone antagonists respectively.

Conclusions Hypertension is the commonest comorbidity in patients with heart failure, who are mostly females with NYHA class I or II symptoms. Most had LV remodeling changes and are on at least one neurohormonal antagonist but most remain sub optimally treated.

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