- Background: Despite significant advances in the therapy of heart failure, many patients still do not receive optimal treatment. Objectives: To document the standard of care that patients hospitalized with HF in Israel received during a 2 month period. Methods: The Heart Failure Survey in Israel 2003 was a prospective 2 month survey of patients admitted to all 25 public hospitals in Israel with a diagnosis of HF. Results: The mean age of the 4102 patients was 73 years and 43% were female. The use of angiotensin-converting enzyme/ angiotensin receptor blockers and beta blockers both declined from NYHA class I to IV (68.8% to 50.6% for ACE-inhibitor/ARB and 64.1% to 52.9% for beta blockers, P < 0.001 for comparisons). The percentage of patients by NYHA class taking an ACE-inhibitor or ARB and a beta blocker at hospital discharge also declined from NYHA class I to IV (47.5% to 28.8%, P < 0.002 for comparisons). The strongest predictor of being discharged with an ACE-inhibitor or ARB was the use of these medications at hospital admission. Negative predictors for their usage were age, creatinine, disease severity class, and functional status. Conclusions: Despite the dissemination of guidelines many patients did not receive optimal care for HF. Reasons for this discrepancy need to be identified and modified.