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Congestive Heart Failure Blog

Could a Drink a Day Lower Your Risk for Heart Failure?

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – Having a drink each day might help lower a middle-aged person's odds for heart failure, a new study reveals. The investigation suggests that men in their 40s, 50s and 60s who drink as much as seven comparably sized glasses of wine, beer and/or spirits per week will see their risk for heart failure drop by 20 percent. For women the associated drop in risk amounted to roughly 16 percent, according to the study published online Jan. 20 in the European Heart Journal. "These findings suggest that drinking alcohol in moderation does not contribute to an increased risk of heart failure and may even be protective," Dr. Scott Solomon, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a journal news release. While the study found an association between moderate drinking and a lower risk of heart failure, it wasn't designed to prove cause-and-effect. And ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Ethanol, Dehydrated Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, Denatured Alcohol, Lavacol, Alcare Plus, Alcohol 5% in Dextrose 5%

Scientists Spot Mutation Behind Genetic Form of Heart Failure

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14, 2015 – Researchers have uncovered a major genetic risk for heart failure – a mutation affecting a key muscle protein that makes the heart less elastic. The mutation increases a person's risk of dilated cardiomyopathy. This is a form of heart failure in which the walls of the heart muscle are stretched out and become thinner, enlarging the heart and impairing its ability to pump blood efficiently, a new international study has revealed. The finding could lead to genetic testing that would improve treatment for people at high risk for heart failure, according to the report published Jan. 14 in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The mutation causes the body to produce shortened forms of titin, the largest human protein and an essential component of muscle, the researchers said in background information. "We found that dilated cardiomyopathy due to titin ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

High Blood Sugar in Heart Failure Patients May Point to Risk of Early Death

Posted 7 Jan 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7, 2015 – Checking the blood sugar levels of emergency department patients with heart failure can identify those at risk of diabetes, hospitalization and early death, a new study suggests. This increased risk was true even if patients had blood sugar (glucose) levels within what is considered normal limits, the researchers said. "Our findings suggest that the measurement of blood sugar levels in all patients arriving at emergency departments with acute heart failure could provide doctors with useful prognostic information and could help to improve outcomes in these patients," study leader Dr. Douglas Lee, said in a journal news release. Lee is a senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Researchers reviewed data on more than 16,500 seniors treated for acute heart failure. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Daily Exercise May Halve Risk for Heart Failure, Study Says

Posted 2 Sep 2014 by Drugs.com

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

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

Posted 31 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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

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Heart Failure Patients Wind Up in ER Too Often: Study

Posted 25 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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

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Potassium Supplements May Help Some Heart Failure Patients

Posted 16 Jul 2014 by Drugs.com

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, Micro-K 10, K-Dur, Slow-K, K + Potassium, Micro-K, K-Tab, K-10, K-Dur 10, KCl-20, K-Dur 20, Kaochlor S-F, Klor-Con 8, KCl

Heart Failure Therapy May Benefit Women More Than Men

Posted 23 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

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

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

Posted 10 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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

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Implanted Defibrillators May Help Patients With Moderate Heart Failure

Posted 3 Jun 2014 by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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

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