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Congestive Heart Failure News

Could a Low-Salt Diet Hurt Your Health?

Posted 4 days ago by

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 – A controversial new study contends that a low-salt diet could be dangerous for your heart health. Restricting dietary salt to below 3,000 milligrams a day appears to increase the risk for heart disease similar to that of high blood pressure patients who eat too much salt, said lead researcher Andrew Mente. "Having neither too high nor too low levels of sodium [salt] is optimal for health," said Mente, an associate professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at McMaster University, in Ontario, Canada. The American Heart Association is highly critical of Mente's study. The AHA says the study relies on incorrect estimates of sodium intake, and should not lead anyone to relax concerns over excess salt in the average U.S. diet. "This is an extremely flawed analysis that doesn't provide new information, and it should not be used to guide public policy," said ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Sodium Chloride, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, HalfLytely and Bisacodyl, Hyper-Sal, Rhinaris, Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride, Saline Nasal Mist, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride, Ayr Saline Nasal, Thermotabs, ENTsol, Sea Soft, Rhino-Mist, Nasal Moist, Simply Soothing

Updated Heart Failure Treatment Guidelines Issued

Posted 4 days ago by

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 – An updated guideline adds two new types of drugs to the list of treatment options for heart failure. In people with the condition, the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body. The two new treatments in the updated guidelines are an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (valsartan/sacubitril), sold as Entresto, and a sinoatrial node modulator (ivabradine), sold as Corlanor, according to the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America. Previously recommended drugs for these patients include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers and diuretics. "Treatment options for patients with heart failure have expanded considerably. There is more hope than ever before for patients with heart failure," guideline update committee vice chair Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Entresto, Ivabradine, Corlanor, Left Ventriculography

Elderly Benefit From Intensive Blood Pressure Treatment

Posted 4 days ago by

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 – Intensive treatment of high blood pressure reduces older adults' risk of heart disease without increasing their risk of falls or other complications, a new study shows. "These findings have substantial implications for the future of high blood pressure therapy in older adults because of its high prevalence in this age group, and because of the devastating consequences high blood pressure complications can have on the independent function of older people," said study author Dr. Jeff Williamson. He is a professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, N.C. These new results come from the U.S. National Institutes of Health's Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The study included more than 2,600 patients, aged 75 and older. They were randomly assigned to one of two groups: either an intensive ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Attack, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Heart Failure Risk Seems to Rise in Winter

Posted 18 days ago by

FRIDAY, May 6, 2016 – When there's a real chill in the air, your risk of being hospitalized for heart failure rises, a new study suggests. Cold weather also seems to boost the risk of hospitalization for both heart failure and atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm. "In the past, seasonal differences have been noted for heart attacks and strokes," said study co-author Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, a cardiac electrophysiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "We looked at seasonal differences in patients getting hospitalized for heart failure and atrial fibrillation from a large national hospitalizations database," he added. "We found that during cooler months, especially in February, the rates of hospitalizations are the highest. "It is striking that people get more sick with cardiac diseases during cooler months," Deshmukh said. "Whether it is ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography

Race May Influence Risk for Irregular Heart Beat

Posted 19 days ago by

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – There's a strong link between the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation and race, a new study says. Whites with heart failure are much more likely to have atrial fibrillation (AF) than blacks or Hispanics with heart failure, the study authors said. Heart failure is a common risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Heart failure affects 5.8 million people in the United States and more than 23 million worldwide, the researchers said. The researchers reviewed information from more than 68,000 Americans with heart failure. They were between ages 45 and 95. The group included more than 28,000 Hispanics, more than 25,000 blacks and more than 14,000 whites. The risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) was about 23 percent lower in blacks than whites. The odds were nearly 27 percent lower in Hispanics than whites, the researchers found. The study was presented Wednesday at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography

FDA: 2 Diabetes Drugs May Be Linked to Heart Failure Risk

Posted 5 Apr 2016 by

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 – Diabetes drugs containing saxagliptin and alogliptin may raise the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients with heart or kidney disease, U.S. health officials warned Tuesday. Drugs containing these ingredients are Onglyza (saxagliptin), Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin and metformin extended release), Nesina (alogliptin), Kazano (alogliptin and metformin) and Oseni (alogliptin and pioglitazone), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. People with type 2 diabetes who use these drugs should not stop taking them without consulting with their doctor, the FDA said. The agency added that patients on these drugs should contact their doctor if they develop signs and symptoms of heart failure, including: Unusual shortness of breath during daily activities. Difficulty breathing when lying down. Tiredness, weakness or fatigue. Weight gain with swelling of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Onglyza, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diabetes Mellitus, Oseni, Alogliptin, Nesina, Saxagliptin, Kombiglyze XR, Kazano, Alogliptin/pioglitazone, Alogliptin/metformin, Metformin/saxagliptin

Hispanics More Likely to Have Heart Pumping Problems, Study Says

Posted 5 Apr 2016 by

TUESDAY, April 5, 2016 – Hispanics have higher rates of heart pumping problems than other Americans, yet many don't know they have a disorder that can lead to heart failure, a new study finds. The research included more than 1,800 Hispanic people. They were between 45 and 74 years old. They lived in New York City, Chicago, Miami and San Diego. About half had a blood pumping problem (called cardiac dysfunction), the study found. But, fewer than 1 in 20 knew they had the heart problem, the study revealed. The study was published April 5 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. "The perception has been that Hispanics/Latinos are a low-risk group for cardiac dysfunction, but that is not true," senior study author Dr. Carlos Rodriguez said in a journal news release. He's an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. A ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Vitamin D Boosts Heart Function in Study

Posted 5 Apr 2016 by

MONDAY, April 4, 2016 – Regular doses of vitamin D3 may improve heart function in heart failure patients, a new British study suggests. "These findings could make a significant difference to the care of heart failure patients," said study leader Dr. Klaus Witte, from the University of Leeds School of Medicine. "It is the first evidence that vitamin D3 can improve heart function of people with heart muscle weakness – known as heart failure." The study included more than 160 patients who had pacemakers and/or were receiving blood pressure drugs known as ACE inhibitors or beta blockers. The study participants took either vitamin D or inactive placebo pills once a day for a year. The researchers explained that they avoided using a calcium-based vitamin D supplement, because calcium can cause other problems for heart failure patients. Heart pumping function improved from 26 percent to 34 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Caltrate 600 with D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Os-Cal 500 with D, Citracal + D, Oysco 500 with D, Calcium 600 D, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Oyster Shell Calcium, Calcarb with D, Dical-D, Caltrate Colon Health, Oysco D, O-Cal-D

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise Against Heart Failure

Posted 4 Apr 2016 by

MONDAY, April 4, 2016 – Stem cell therapy shows promise for people battling heart failure, a new study finds. The clinical trial found that end-stage heart failure patients treated with stem cells harvested from their own bone marrow had 37 percent fewer cardiac events than those who received a "dummy" placebo. "For the last 15 years, everyone has been talking about cell therapy and what it can do. These results suggest that it really works," study author and cardiac surgeon Dr. Amit Patel, director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, said in a university news release. Another expert was cautiously optimistic about the results. While the findings are promising, "further long-term data – and hopefully improved levels of heart efficiency and performance – would still need to be seen," said Dr. David Friedman, chief of ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diagnosis and Investigation

Gene Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Heart Failure

Posted 30 Mar 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, March 30, 2016 – There might be good news for millions of Americans who suffer from heart failure: A trial using gene therapy appears to have boosted patients' cardiac function. "This type of an intervention would be the ultimate method to reconstruct damaged heart tissue so that it can be mechanically functional again," explained one expert, Dr. Justine Lachmann. She directs the Congestive Heart Failure Program at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. In heart failure, a weakened or damaged heart no longer pumps blood the way it should. This potentially fatal disease affects about 5.7 million Americans, according to the American Heart Association. Despite the illness taking such a toll, there's been little progress toward any kind of cure, Lachmann said. "Our current medication interventions for heart failure have been successful in helping patients live longer, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Left Ventriculography

Long Hours at the Office May Raise Your Heart Disease Risk: Study

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Working long hours may raise your risk of heart disease, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 1,900 people in a long-term study of work. They found that 43 percent had been diagnosed with a problem related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as angina, coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart attack, high blood pressure or stroke. Among full-time employees, the risk rose 1 percent for each additional hour worked per week over 10 years or more. Starting at 46 hours, additional work hours increased the risk of heart disease even more. Compared to those who averaged 45 hours a week for 10 years or more, the risk of heart disease was 16 percent higher among those who worked 55 hours a week and 35 percent higher among those who worked 60 hours a week. The findings did not apply to part-time workers, according to the study in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Tai Chi Could Be a Healthy Move for Your Heart

Posted 9 Mar 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 – Tai chi and other traditional Chinese exercises may benefit people with heart disease, researchers report. The new review of 35 studies included more than 2,200 people in 10 countries. The investigators found that, among people with heart disease, these types of low-risk activities appeared to help lower blood pressure and levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and other unhealthy blood fats. Tai chi, qigong and other traditional Chinese exercises were also linked to improved quality of life and reduced depression in heart disease patients, the study authors added. But the exercises did not significantly improve heart rate, aerobic fitness levels or general health scores, according to the report published March 9 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. "Traditional Chinese exercises are a low-risk, promising intervention that could be helpful in ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Myocardial Infarction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Valvular Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Infectious Heart Disease

Tips for Traveling to the U.S. With Medications

Posted 29 Feb 2016 by

SATURDAY, Feb. 27, 2016 – Traveling to the United States with medications? Here's what you need to know to avoid problems. Americans traveling abroad are not allowed to bring home foreign versions of medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA warned that it can't ensure these foreign drugs are safe and effective. There is also no way to confirm that medications are made properly using the same formulation as FDA-approved drugs. "As a pharmacist at the FDA, I advise people to remember that we at FDA cannot ensure that medications approved in other countries are safe or effective, or have been manufactured properly," Lindsay Wagner, an FDA pharmacist, said in an agency news release. When someone with a serious medical condition needs treatment with a foreign drug for which there is no U.S. equivalent, the FDA will review an application to import the drug for ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Cancer, Hypertension, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Heart Failure, Crestor, Congestive Heart Failure, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Lescol XL

Implanted Defibrillators Help Women as Much as Men: Study

Posted 12 Jan 2016 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2016 – Among people with heart failure, implanted defibrillators benefit women as much as men, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) help heart failure patients live longer. And current guidelines recommend that doctors consider adding the devices to standard treatment for all heart failure patients. However, women are less likely than men to receive an ICD, the study authors said. One reason may be that questions remained about whether the devices benefit women with heart failure. People with heart failure are at increased risk for heart rhythm problems. ICDs are placed under the skin of the chest and deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when a potentially deadly abnormal rhythm is detected. The new study compared thousands of female and male heart failure patients with and without ICDs. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Atrial Tachycardia, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Left Ventriculography

Diet and Exercise Benefit People With Heart Failure

Posted 5 Jan 2016 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 – Lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet and regular exercise appear to improve heart function and exercise capacity in people with a particular form of heart failure, a new study reports. Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF) is a form of heart failure that's on the rise. It most often affects overweight and obese older women. This type of heart failure leads to fatigue and shortness of breath during activities, which can affect the ability to exercise, according to the study authors. The study included 100 obese older people with HFPEF. The randomized clinical trial was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine led by Dr. Dalane Kitzman divided the participants into four groups: diet alone, exercise alone, both diet and exercise, and a control group who didn't get any ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography

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