Table 1

Baseline characteristics of consenting, randomised patients

Control (n = 110)Intervention (n = 80)p value
Mean (SD) age (years)76.0 (5.3)75.1 (5.1)NS
Male57 (51.8)44 (55.0)NS
Mean (SD) NYHA functional class2.6 (0.7)2.6 (0.7)NS
Marital status (single)59 (54)36 (45)NS
Education (primary) 71 (70)58 (73)NS
Smokers20 (18.7)11 (13.8)NS
IHD as cause of heart failure56 (50.9)45 (56.3)NS
Mean (SD) left ventricular EF (%)35.7 (12.3)31.6 (8.4)< 0.05
Concomittent diseases
 Previous myocardial infarction40 (36.4)39 (48.8)NS
 Angina pectoris45 (40.9)35 (43.8)NS
 Hypertension31 (28.2)26 (32.5)NS
 Atrial fibrillation44 (40.4)28 (35.0)NS
 Diabetes mellitus28 (25.5)13 (16.3)NS
 Hyperlipidaemia6 (5.5)3 (3.8)NS
 Stroke13 (12.5)8 (10.1)NS
Treatment
 Diuretics79 (71.8)58 (72.5)NS
 β blockers10 (9.1)9 (11.3)NS
 ACE inhibitors30 (27.3)12 (15.0)NS
 Calcium antagonists11 (10.0)9 (11.4)NS
 Nitrates35 (31.9)29 (36.3)NS
 Digitalis38 (34.9)20 (25.0)NS
  • Values are n (%) unless otherwise stated.

  • NYHA, New York Heart Association; IHD, ischaemic heart disease; EF, ejection fraction; ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme.