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Congestive Heart Failure Blog

Daily Exercise May Halve Risk for Heart Failure, Study Says

Posted 2 Sep 2014 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 2, 2014 – Daily exercise may significantly reduce the risk of heart failure, according to new research. Heart failure, a common, disabling condition in older adults, was nearly half as likely in those who got an hour of moderate exercise or a half hour of vigorous exercise every day, researchers in Sweden found. "The study shows that high levels of physical activity are associated with considerably lower risk of heart failure," said study researcher Dr. Kasper Andersen, a physician at Uppsala University. It's important to note that Andersen's study found a link, not a proven cause-and-effect relationship, between activity and lower heart failure risk. Even so, he said, the association makes sense. Physical activity is known to lower the risk of developing high blood pressure, for instance, which is a risk factor for heart failure. Exercise also lowers the odds of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Drug Gives 'New Hope' Against Heart Failure, Expert Says

Posted 31 Aug 2014 by

SATURDAY, Aug. 30, 2014 – In a head-to-head comparison, an experimental drug was more effective than standard treatment at preventing deaths and hospitalizations in heart failure patients. According to the study authors, the trial was stopped early because of the marked benefit of the new drug, dubbed LCZ696. In the trial, 26.5 percent of those getting the standard medication, enalapril (Vasotec), either died or were hospitalized due to heart failure, compared with 21.8 percent of those on the new drug. Enalapril belongs to a class of blood pressure-lowering medications known as ACE inhibitors. "LCZ696 could become the new gold standard, replacing ACE inhibitors," said lead researcher Dr. John McMurray, a professor of cardiology at the British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Center at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland. LCZ696 combines two blood pressure drugs – an ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Failure Patients Wind Up in ER Too Often: Study

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug. 25, 2014 – Many acute heart failure patients make repeated visits to emergency departments, which suggests they need better outpatient care, researchers report. Improved care would lead to lower health care costs, the researchers added. They looked at more than 113,000 adult patients in California and Florida who made at least one emergency department visit in 2010 for acute heart failure syndrome, an increase in heart failure symptoms that requires urgent care. Of those patients, 30 percent returned to the emergency department (ED) at least once during the next 12 months, according to the study published Aug. 25 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Patients most likely to make return visits were black or Hispanic, low-income and covered by Medicaid. "The high proportion of patients with frequent ED visits reflects the failure of current ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Chronic Medical Conditions Can Shorten Seniors' Lives: Study

Posted 28 Jul 2014 by

MONDAY, July 28, 2014 – The more chronic medical conditions people have at retirement age, the shorter their life expectancy may be, a new study claims. Since nearly four in five older Americans have multiple health issues, scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore said the findings may help explain why gains in life expectancy are slowing in the United States. "Living with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart failure is now the norm and not the exception in the United States," said lead author Eva DuGoff in a Hopkins news release. "The medical advances that have allowed sick people to live longer may not be able to keep up with the growing burden of chronic disease." "It is becoming very clear that preventing the development of additional chronic conditions in the elderly could be the only way to continue to improve life ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Kidney Disease

Can You Name That Pill?

Posted 21 Jul 2014 by

Maybe this sounds like a cable TV game show, but it's not. Every month millions of Americans pick up their prescription at the pharmacy, only to discover that their pill looks different than the month before. Last month’s oval, white pills embossed with “3972V” are now round, and display imprint “ML24”. Green, round pills are now green rectangles. Change is good, but not necessarily at the pharmacy. Even though some of us realize that the pharmacy has replaced last month's generic pill with this month's generic pill (probably due to a cheaper wholesale price), it still leaves us concerned. We see the warning sticker on the bottle that alerts us of the pill change, but worry still lingers. Many of us put our good faith in the pharmacist and move on, happy that the generic price is still at the $10 price. Others of us are concerned, distrustful, and afraid to take the newly decorated pill ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Potassium Supplements May Help Some Heart Failure Patients

Posted 16 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 16, 2014 – Potassium supplements might boost the survival of heart failure patients who are already taking diuretic drugs, a new study suggests. Nearly 5.8 million Americans have heart failure. As doctors explain it, excess fluid can accumulate in the body when the heart isn't working properly, as happens in people with heart failure. Drugs called loop diuretics – also called "water pills" – help remove excess fluid, but also flush potassium, a mineral, out of the body. "For the heart failure population, diuretics are a common and necessary part of a patient's daily regimen," said Dr. Tara Narula, associate director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "Unfortunately they come with the common side effect of potassium depletion, which can lead to dangerous heart rhythm disturbances." Because of that, many doctors prescribe potassium ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Klor-Con, Potassium Chloride, Klor-Con M20, Klor-Con M10, Klor-Con 10, K-Dur, Micro-K 10, K + Potassium, Micro-K, Slow-K, K-Tab, KCl-20, K-Dur 20, K-10, K-Dur 10, Klor-Con/25, K-Sol, Kaochlor

Heart Failure Therapy May Benefit Women More Than Men

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 23, 2014 – Women suffering from heart failure derive more benefit than men do from a pacemaker treatment. But they are less likely than men to receive it, a new analysis shows. Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) – which uses a pacemaker to improve the coordination of heartbeats – led to a 60 percent reduction in women's risk of heart failure or death, researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration report. The therapy reduced their risk of death alone by 55 percent. Those benefits far outstripped rates of effectiveness for men, whose risk of heart failure or death declined by only 26 percent with CRT, and their risk of death alone by 15 percent, the study authors said. Despite this, fewer women than men are treated with CRT, in part because treatment guidelines are based on clinical trials that included too few women, said senior study author Dr. David ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Breast Cancer Drug Herceptin Linked to Risk of Heart Problems: Study

Posted 10 Jun 2014 by

MONDAY, June 9, 2014 – As many as one in 10 women taking the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) will experience some type of heart problem, according to new research. The good news from this study is that these problems typically reverse once treatment is finished. "The overall message here is one of tremendous reassurance," said study researcher Dr. Brian Leyland-Jones, vice president of molecular and experimental medicine at Avera Cancer Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D. The study was published June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology online. Roche, the maker of Herceptin, provided research funding. Some of the study's co-authors work for Roche or are advisers or consultants. Herceptin is used in breast cancers that test positive for HER 2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. Herceptin kills the cells, and is known to boost ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Herceptin, Trastuzumab

Many With Heart Failure Aren't Told About End-of-Life Care: Study

Posted 4 Jun 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, June 4, 2014 – Health-care providers are often hesitant to discuss end-of-life care with their heart failure patients, new research reveals. For the study, researchers surveyed 50 doctors and 45 nurse practitioners or physician assistants at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the Mayo Clinic Health System. The investigators found that only 12 percent said they had routine yearly discussions with heart failure patients about end-of-life care, as recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA). About 30 percent of the health-care providers said they had little confidence in their own abilities to discuss or provide end-of-life care, according to the study. The findings, which should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal, were scheduled for presentation Wednesday at an AHA meeting in Baltimore. The study authors found that 52 percent of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Some Breast Cancer Patients May Get Drug-Linked Heart Failure: Study

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 – More than one in 10 older breast cancer patients treated with certain chemotherapy drugs develop heart failure, but many don't get proper treatment for their heart condition, a new study suggests. "The majority of older women who develop heart problems after their breast cancer therapy aren't treated by a cardiologist, and they had lower quality of care," study lead author Dr. Jersey Chen, a research scientist and cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Rockville, Md., said in an American Heart Association news release. The study was to be presented Tuesday at an American Heart Association meeting in Baltimore. Chen's team analyzed Medicare data on 8,400 breast cancer patients older than 65 who were treated either with chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines, or a targeted therapy called trastuzumab. Prior research has linked both of these treatments to heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Herceptin, Adriamycin, Doxorubicin, Epirubicin, Lipodox, Doxil, Valrubicin, Pharmorubicin RDF, Idarubicin, DaunoXome, Trastuzumab, Ellence, Daunorubicin Liposomal, Idamycin PFS, Doxorubicin Liposomal, Adriamycin PFS, Pharmorubicin PFS

Implanted Defibrillators May Help Patients With Moderate Heart Failure

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by

TUESDAY, June 3, 2014 – People with moderate heart failure may live longer with an implanted defibrillator, researchers report. A normal heart's pumping ability – called ejection fraction – is 50 percent to 70 percent. An ejection fraction below 50 percent signals the possible beginnings of heart failure, according to the American College of Cardiology. Implanted defibrillators have shown a benefit in patients with advanced heart failure and ejection fractions of 30 percent or less. But whether patients with moderate heart failure might also benefit is the question this study tried to answer. The answer was yes, the study authors said. "Patients with an ejection fraction of 30 to 35 percent who receive an implantable defibrillator have better survival than similar patients with no implantable defibrillator," said study author Dr. Sana Al-Khatib, an associate professor of medicine at ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Remote Monitoring Device Approved for Heart Patients

Posted 29 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 – An implanted wireless device that measures key vital signs in people with heart failure has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The CardioMEMSHF system measures pulmonary artery pressure and heart rates and sends this information remotely to the patient's doctors, the FDA said Wednesday in a news release. The device is intended for people with New York Heart Association Class III heart failure, the FDA said. Some 5.8 million people in the United States have heart failure, in which the heart can't pump enough blood. People with NYHA Class III heart failure have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as walking short distances, the agency said. The device was evaluated in a clinical study involving 550 people. All devices implanted were still working after six months, the FDA said. The agency said it is requiring a post-approval study to ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

FDA Medwatch Alert: Dobutamine Injection (250mg/20mL)/Hospira: Recall - Visible Particulates

Posted 18 May 2014 by

ISSUE: Hospira, Inc. issued a nationwide recall to the user level for one lot of Dobutamine Injection, USP, 250 mg, 20 mL, Single-dose fliptop vial, (NDC 0409-2344-02), Lot 27-352-DK. (NDC and lot number can be found on the right-hand side of the primary label). This lot was distributed nationwide to distributors/wholesalers, hospitals and clinics from August 2013 through September 2013. Risk factors associated with particulate and/or a glass defect include the potential for particulate to be injected, a breach of sterility/contamination of the vial contents, leakage of contents, and/or a delay in therapy.  In general, injected particulate matter may result acutely in local inflammation, phlebitis, and/or low level allergic response through mechanical disruption of tissue or immune response to the particulate. If contaminated solution is used on a patient, this may potentially cause ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Dobutamine, Dobutrex

Sleeping Pill Use Tied to Poorer Survival for Heart Failure Patients

Posted 18 May 2014 by

SATURDAY, May 17, 2014 – A new study suggests that the use of sleeping pills greatly increases the risk of serious heart problems and death in people with heart failure. "Sleeping problems are a frequent side effect of heart failure and it is common for patients to be prescribed sleeping pills when they are discharged from hospital," study author Dr. Masahiko Setoguchi explained in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology. However, "given that many heart failure patients have difficulty sleeping, this is an issue that needs further investigation in larger studies," he said. In the study, the Japanese team examined the medical records of 111 heart failure patients admitted to a Tokyo hospital from 2011 to 2013. The patients were followed for up to 180 days after they left the hospital. Patients who took sleeping pills – drugs called benzodiazepine hypnotics – were eight ... Read more

Related support groups: Xanax, Klonopin, Clonazepam, Valium, Ativan, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Temazepam, Restoril, Xanax XR, Librium, Oxazepam, Halcion, Serax, Midazolam, Triazolam, Versed

Early Menopause Linked to Heart Failure Risk in Swedish Study

Posted 14 May 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 – Early menopause may increase a woman's risk for heart failure later in life, especially if she is a smoker, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 22,000 older women in Sweden. Those who experienced early menopause (ages 40 to 45) were 40 percent more likely to suffer heart failure than those who went through menopause in the normal age range of 50 to 54, the investigators found. For every one-year increase in the age a woman began menopause, there was a 2 percent lower risk of heart failure, according to the study in the May 14 online edition of the journal Menopause, which is published by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). The risk of heart failure was highest in current or former smokers who had early menopause, the researchers found. Current or former smokers who went through menopause only somewhat early – ages 46 to 49 ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Postmenopausal Symptoms

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