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Congestive Heart Failure Blog

Heart Failure Drug Might Help Reduce Hospitalizations

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2014 – A drug often used to treat heart failure patients does little to lower cardiac arrest or death risk among people with a common form of the disease. But it does help reduce hospitalizations, a new study finds. The study looked at heart failure patients whose hearts were still contracting normally or near normally. These patients account for about 40 percent of heart failure cases. Currently, there are no drugs to improve the prognoses of these patients, according to the study authors. The researchers enrolled more than 3,400 patients in six countries who had heart failure with a "left ventricular ejection fraction" of 45 percent or more – which is considered normal or near normal contractions. Left ventricular ejection fraction is a measurement of how much blood is being pumped out of the heart's main pumping chamber with each contraction. The patients were ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Spironolactone, Aldactone

Depression May Be Linked to Heart Failure

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 4, 2014 – Depression may increase the risk of heart failure, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at nearly 63,000 people in Norway who underwent physical and mental health assessments. Over 11 years, close to 1,500 of the participants developed heart failure. Compared to people with no symptoms of depression, those with mild symptoms were 5 percent more likely to develop heart failure, and those with moderate to severe symptoms had a 40 percent increased risk. The study was scheduled for presentation Friday at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Stavanger, Norway. "Depressive symptoms increase the chance of developing heart failure and the more severe the symptoms are, the greater the risk," study first author Lise Tuset Gustad, an intensive care nurse at Levanger Hospital in Norway, said in a society news release. "Depressed people have less healthy ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Stem Cells May Rejuvenate Failing Hearts, Study Suggests

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – Stem cells injected directly into heart muscle can help patients suffering from severe heart failure by improving an ailing heart's ability to pump blood, a new Danish trial indicates. Doctors drew stem cells from patients' own bone marrow, and then injected those cells into portions of the heart where scar tissue seemed to interfere with heart function, explained lead researcher Dr. Anders Bruun Mathiasen. He is a research fellow in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Rigshospitalet University Hospital Copenhagen. Within six months of treatment, patients who received stem cell injections had improved heart pumping function compared to patients receiving a placebo, according to findings that were to be presented Monday at the American Academy of Cardiology's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. "We know these stem cells can initiate the growth of new blood vessels ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Diabetes Treatment Falls Short as Heart Failure Drug in Study

Posted 18 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 – A drug commonly used to treat diabetes does not help prevent heart failure in non-diabetics who've had a heart attack, according to a new study. Researchers said results from the rigorous clinical trial dispute previous findings that showed the drug, metformin, could have a protective effect on the heart. "While this glucose-lowering drug is very effective in patients with diabetes and can be safely used in patients with a heart attack, [our data show] it is not of additional benefit in protecting the heart from damage resulting in decreased pump function of the heart," said the study's lead investigator, Dr. Chris Lexis, of University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands. Heart attacks often damage heart muscle, which leads to reduced functioning of the left ventricle. This affects the ability of the heart to pump blood. Several animal studies have ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Metformin, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Glucophage, Myocardial Infarction, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet

For Heart Failure Patients, Shortness of Breath When Bending May Signal Problem

Posted 20 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 – Shortness of breath while bending over is a newly identified symptom of advanced heart failure, researchers say. This obvious symptom can help alert doctors that heart failure patients have excessive fluid retention, according to cardiologists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas. "Some patients thought they were short of breath because they were out of shape or overweight, but we wondered if there was something more to it," study first author Dr. Jennifer Thibodeau said in a medical center news release. "So we developed this study to further investigate this symptom," said Thibodeau, an assistant professor of internal medicine in the center's division of cardiology. The researchers identified the condition – which they called bendopnea – after assessing 102 heart patients. "We discovered that patients with bendopnea had too much fluid in ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Injected Gel Might Someday Help Treat Heart Failure

Posted 13 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 13, 2014 – Attempting to reduce the risk for heart failure following a heart attack, early research on swine takes a new protective approach: targeted injection of naturally occurring "protein inhibitors" directly into the heart. The invasive procedure has only been attempted on adult pigs, whose hearts are considered comparable to that of humans. But preliminary success in staving off heart failure in animal research already amounts to a "proof of concept," the investigators said, demonstrating that such a technique could work in people, too. And maybe even improve upon current oral medications. Study co-author Dr. Francis Spinale, director of the Cardiovascular Translational Research Center at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, described how heart attacks can lead to heart failure in humans. "The heart is composed of four chambers, with the one that ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

FDA Renews Warning on HeartStart Defibrillator Failures

Posted 4 Dec 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) made by Philips Healthcare might not deliver a needed shock to the heart in an emergency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in an updated warning. The devices were made and distributed between 2005 and 2012 under the names HeartStart FRx, HeartStart Home and HeartStart OnSite. About 700,000 of the devices were recalled in September 2012 because of the potential for an electrical-component failure, which would prevent the device from delivering the shock needed to restore a normal heart rhythm. AEDs, which are available in many public locations, are designed to automatically analyze the heart rhythm of people in cardiac arrest and deliver an appropriate shock to the heart. When they are working properly and used correctly, AEDs help save the lives of cardiac arrest victims. Owners of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Healthy Eating Benefits Heart Failure Patients, Study Says

Posted 27 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 27 – Healthy eating habits can significantly reduce high blood pressure and improve heart function in heart failure patients, a new study says. The study included patients, most in their 60s and 70s, who ate only meals that were prepared for them in the kitchen of the University of Michigan Clinical Research Unit. The meals, which could be picked up and heated at home, followed the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet eating plan, which is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants. The diet is recommended for high blood pressure treatment by the American Heart Association and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The diet used in the study also contained a daily sodium intake of 1,150 milligrams or less, which is much lower than American adults' typical intake of about 4,200 mg a day for men and 3,300 a day for women. After three weeks of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Mental State Influences Readmission After Heart Failure Treatment, Study Says

Posted 20 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 – Heart failure patients' mental health history and their thinking abilities may influence whether they're readmitted to the hospital within a month of discharge, a new study says. Depression, a history of substance abuse and a history of coronary artery disease were linked with patients' hospital admissions during the previous year, the researchers found. Factors associated with readmission within 30 days of discharge included memory problems, a history of mental health treatment and/or the use of an antidepressant. The severity of congestive heart failure was not a factor in either admission or readmission rates, according to the study, which was published online recently in the journal Psychosomatics. "Our results agree with several recent studies in finding an adverse impact of depression on admission and readmission rates," lead author Mark Ketterer, a ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Heart Failure Survival May Get a Boost From Doctor's Visit

Posted 19 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 19 – One way for recently discharged heart failure patients to boost their survival odds is to see a doctor within the first month after leaving the hospital, a new study finds. And the survival advantage is higher among patients who see their regular doctor rather than an unfamiliar one, according to the report in the Aug. 19 issue of the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). For the study, researchers looked at data on more than 24,000 heart failure patients aged 20 and older who had been discharged from hospitals in Alberta, Canada. Of those patients, 22 percent did not see a doctor within the first month, 69 percent saw their regular doctor, and 9 percent saw an unfamiliar doctor. Patients who saw a doctor within a month of being discharged from hospital were 3 percent to 8 percent less likely to die or be readmitted to the hospital within three months to one ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Study IDs Best Heart Failure Patients for Pacemakers

Posted 13 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 13 – New research pinpoints how to spot which heart failure patients are most likely to benefit from getting a pacemaker. Previous research has shown that receiving a pacemaker can improve symptoms and reduce the risk of hospital readmission and death in some heart failure patients. One-third to one-half of heart failure patients who receive a pacemaker do not improve, however, according to background information in the study. Being able to identify which patients would be helped most by a pacemaker is important because the surgery to implant the devices is expensive and carries risks, the study authors said. The researchers, from Denver Medical Health Center, analyzed data from Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure who received a pacemaker between 2006 and 2009. The patients were followed for up to three years. Death rates were 0.8 percent at 30 days after surgery, 9 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Measures to Keep Heart Failure Patients From Returning to the Hospital

Posted 19 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 19 – Hospital teams can take six steps to help heart failure patients avoid another hospital stay within the month after they leave, a new study finds. Each step alone reduces the risk, but following all six recommendations could lower readmissions by as much as 2 percent. That could have a huge impact on the health system, according to the lead author of the study appearing July 16 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. In heart failure, the heart can't pump well enough to keep up with its workload, and the body gets too little blood and oxygen to meet its needs. "A million people are hospitalized with heart failure each year and about 250,000 will be back in the hospital within a month," Elizabeth Bradley, a professor of public health and faculty director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute at Yale University, said in a journal news ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Smog Tied to Higher Risk of Lung Cancer, Heart Failure

Posted 10 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 10 – There's more evidence that smog boosts a person's risk of both lung cancer and heart failure, with even short exposures to small amounts of pollution harming the body. A pair of newly published European studies found that regularly breathing in air tainted with even low levels of air pollution raises your long-term risk of lung cancer. That finding came from a review of data from nearly 313,000 people across nine European countries. The study was published online July 10 in The Lancet Oncology. At the same time, short-term exposure to smog has also been linked to increased risk of hospitalization or death from heart failure, according to a study led by the University of Edinburgh that reviewed data from 12 countries worldwide, published the same day in The Lancet. The findings of the two studies further corroborate the known health risks of air pollution, said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Lung Cancer

Advanced Heart Failure Still Kills 1 in 3 Within Three Years: Study

Posted 30 May 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 30 – Patients with advanced heart failure have much better survival odds today than 20 years ago, but one in three still dies within three years of their diagnosis, researchers report. "We are doing a good job of ensuring that patients receive the latest therapies for heart failure, but we still have a lot more work to do," study senior author Dr. Tamara Horwich, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a UCLA news release. "It is very sobering that despite recent improvements, a third of advanced heart-failure patients aren't surviving past three years," Horwich added. In people with heart failure, the heart can't effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. The increasingly common condition affects almost 6 million people in the United States. For the study, published in the May issue ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

High Doses of Common Painkillers May Raise Risk for Heart Trouble

Posted 29 May 2013 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 29 – People who take high doses of common painkillers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) face a greater risk for heart problems, a new analysis shows. Although NSAIDs are used around the world to help people with inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, a review of nearly 650 randomized trials found that taking either 2,400 milligrams (mg) of ibuprofen or 150 mg of diclofenac daily increased the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death by about one-third. The findings were published online May 29 in the journal The Lancet. The study authors said, however, that the increased risk of heart attacks from individual NSAIDs is proportional to a patient's underlying risk for heart attacks. Since people with a history of heart problems or risk factors for heart disease are at greatest risk, they concluded that doctors should weigh that before ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Heart Disease, Ibuprofen, Ischemic Stroke, Naproxen, Heart Attack, Meloxicam, Advil, Diclofenac, Voltaren, Heart Failure, Mobic, Congestive Heart Failure, Aleve, Motrin, Indomethacin, Toradol, Etodolac, Nabumetone, Myocardial Infarction

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