Effectiveness of digoxin in reducing one-year mortality in chronic heart failure in the Digitalis Investigation Group trial.
Am J Cardiol. 2009 Jan 1;103(1):82-7
Authors: , Ahmed A, Waagstein F, Pitt B, White M, Zannad F, Young JB, Rahimtoola SH
Post hoc analyses of the Digitalis Investigation Group (DIG) trial indicate that digoxin at low (0.5 to 0.9 ng/ml) serum digoxin concentration (SDC) reduces mortality, which is eliminated at higher (>or=1 ng/ml) SDC, and that low-dose digoxin (<or=0.125 mg/day) predicts low SDC. In the DIG trial, patients with ambulatory chronic systolic and diastolic heart failure (HF) (n = 7,788) in normal sinus rhythm receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics were randomized to receive placebo (n = 3,899) or digoxin (n = 3,889). The median dose of digoxin (0.25 mg/day) and the target SDC (0.8 to 2.5 ng/ml) were higher than what are currently recommended, which in part may explain the lack of long-term mortality benefit of digoxin in the DIG trial. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of digoxin on short-term outcomes; 1-year all-cause mortality occurred in 392 and 448 patients respectively in the digoxin and placebo groups (hazard ratio for digoxin 0.87, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76 to 0.995, p = 0.043). Respective hazard ratios for cardiovascular and HF deaths were 0.87 (95% CI 0.76 to 1.01, p = 0.072) and 0.66 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.85, p = 0.001). All-cause hospitalization occurred in 1,411 and 1,529 patients receiving digoxin and placebo respectively (hazard ratio 0.89, 95% CI 0.83 to 0.96, p = 0.002). Respective hazard ratios for cardiovascular and HF hospitalizations were 0.82 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.89, p <0.0001) and 0.59 (95% CI 0.52 to 0.66, p <0.0001). In conclusion, digoxin reduced 1-year mortality and hospitalization in patients with chronic HF receiving angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and diuretics. Randomized clinical trials are needed to determine the effect of low-dose digoxin in contemporary patients with chronic HF.
PMID: 19101235 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]