Objectives: The purpose of this study is to determine the association between discharge use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors in patients with perceived contraindications to these drugs and 4-year post-discharge survival among hospitalized older adults discharged alive with a primary discharge diagnosis of systolic heart failure. Background: Perceived contraindications to the use of ACE inhibitors are often associated with underuse of these life-saving drugs. Methods: Chronic renal insufficiency, hypotension, hyperkalemia, and severe aortic stenosis were conditions perceived as contraindications. Using a multivariable logistic regression model, we at first determined propensity scores for receipt of ACE inhibitors for each patient. Bivariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to determine crude and adjusted risks of 4-year mortality compared with patients without perceived contraindications who were discharged on an ACE inhibitor (referent group). Results: Compared with the referent group, patients with perceived contraindications who were not discharged on an ACE inhibitor had a significant 2-fold increase in the risk of 4-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 2.33, 95% CI = 1.30-4.19). Patients with perceived contraindications who were discharged on ACE inhibitors had a non significant 23% higher risk of 4-year mortality (versus the referent group) (adjusted HR = 1.23, 95% CI = 0.71-2.13). Conclusion: Discharge use of ACE inhibitors was associated with significant long-term survival benefit in patients considered to have contraindication to these drugs. © 2005, Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.