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Congestive Heart Failure News

Adults With Heart Defects May Face Higher Risk of Stroke: Study

Posted 1 day 1 hour ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 – Adults who were born with heart defects are at increased risk for stroke, a new study finds. "We knew there was a connection between heart failure and stroke in patients with heart defects, but we were surprised to discover it was the strongest predictor," said senior study author Dr. Ariane Marelli, a professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal. However, the study did not prove that heart defects cause stroke. For the study, researchers looked at stroke rates among more than 29,000 adults born with heart defects, and compared them with rates among people in the general population of the province of Quebec, Canada. Those with heart defects were nine to 12 times more likely to suffer an ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain) before age 55. In addition, they were two to four times more likely to have this type of stroke between the ages of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Type 1, Insulin Resistance, Transient Ischemic Attack, Pre-Diabetes, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Left Ventriculography

Exercise Can Reduce Heart Failure Risk, No Matter Your Age

Posted 5 days ago by

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 – Starting to exercise later in life can still reduce your risk of heart failure, and even modest increases in activity could provide some protection, researchers say. "Our findings suggest that when it comes to exercise and heart failure, the better-later-than-never axiom rings particularly true, and that even small boosts in activity can cut risk," senior investigator Dr. Chiadi Ndumele said in a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine news release. He is a preventive cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at the medical school. The researchers studied the exercise habits of about 11,000 American men and women in a 20-year government study on aging and heart disease. All were between the ages of 45 and 64. None had heart disease at the start of the study. Activity levels were assessed on two consecutive visits over six years. Compared to those who ... Read more

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

Gel Injections May Help Heart Failure Patients

Posted 6 days ago by

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 – Heart failure patients who had beads of gel injected into their beating hearts continue to show improvement in their health a year after undergoing the procedure, researchers report. About 85 percent of patients who received the gel implants displayed only slight or no limitations in physical activity during a one-year follow-up, compared with only 25 percent of patients in a comparable control group. Blood oxygen levels also continue to improve in these patients, and they are able to walk hundreds of feet farther, said lead researcher Dr. Douglas Mann, chief of the cardiovascular division at Washington University School of Medicine and a cardiologist-in-chief at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. The findings from a clinical trial update were published recently in the European Journal of Heart Failure. Based on these results, the U.S. Food and Drug ... Read more

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

Why Heart Failure Patients Often Get Too Little Exercise

Posted 8 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 – A number of obstacles prevent heart failure patients from getting enough exercise, a new study has found. Supervised aerobic workouts benefit people with heart failure. But a lack of social support and barriers – such as child care – means that many patients don't get the recommended amount of exercise, researchers found. They looked at more than 2,200 heart failure patients enrolled in a 36-session supervised exercise program for three months, followed by two years of home exercise. Participants also answered questions that measured their perception of social support and assessed potential barriers, such as finances and weather, that could interfere with participation in an exercise program. Those with the most social support averaged 118 minutes of exercise a week after 12 months, compared with an average of 92 minutes for those with the least social ... Read more

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

New Medicare Rules Triple Heart Failure Patients' Access to Cardiac Rehab

Posted 14 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Newly expanded Medicare and Medicaid coverage for cardiac rehabilitation has tripled the number of heart failure patients with access to these lifesaving programs, a new study has found. But coverage could stand to be even further expanded, the researchers concluded. "There are a lot of new patients eligible, but we left out this whole huge bucket of patients," said lead researcher Dr. Jacob Kelly, a heart physician at the Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C. "Now the question is, what should we do with this group?" Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps people with heart problems improve the quality of their lives, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Heart patients in cardiac rehabilitation participate in exercise training, take classes on heart healthy living, and receive counseling to help them ... Read more

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

Heavy Drinking May Strain the Heart

Posted 15 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 – Heavy drinking may dramatically increase a person's risk of heart failure, even if they're young and healthy, a new study suggests. People who abuse alcohol are 70 percent more likely to develop heart failure, according to findings that were to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. The detrimental effects of hard drinking were particularly pronounced in young and middle-aged adults, and people who were otherwise in good health, said lead researcher Dr. Isaac Whitman, an electrophysiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. However, the study did not prove that heavy drinking causes heart failure. These results suggest that younger adults need to take it easy on the booze, especially if they don't have any risk factors for heart disease, Whitman said. "In the case of alcohol, I don't think it's ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Alcoholism, Hangover, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Left Ventriculography

Rheumatoid Arthritis May Shorten Life Span: Study

Posted 3 Nov 2015 by

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 – Rheumatoid arthritis may raise the risk of early death by as much as 40 percent, with heart and respiratory problems the most common contributors to a shortened life span, a new study suggests. And among those who died of respiratory causes, one of the main causes of death was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the researchers reported. The findings provide new evidence to support previous research suggesting a link between rheumatoid arthritis and increased risk of early death, and they point to the need for doctors to closely monitor these patients, the study authors said. However, the study only showed an association, and not a cause-and-effect relationship, between rheumatoid arthritis and risk of premature death. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body's immune system attacks the joints, resulting in pain and swelling. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Bronchiectasis, Respiratory Tract Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Reversible Airways Disease

Sweetened Drinks Might Raise Men's Risk for Heart Failure

Posted 2 Nov 2015 by

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 – People who regularly consume sodas or sweetened fruit drinks may have a higher risk for heart failure, researchers report. In the study, Swedish men who drank two or more servings of sweetened beverages a day had a 23 percent higher risk of suffering heart failure, said lead author Susanna Larsson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. "People who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider reducing their consumption to lower their risk of heart failure as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes and possibly other diseases," Larsson said. Sweetened drinks have been linked to stroke, diabetes, obesity and other health problems, but so far scant attention has been paid to the effects of excess sugar on heart health, said Dr. Christopher O'Connor, director of the Heart Center at Duke University School of Medicine and ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Obesity, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Transient Ischemic Attack

Men's, Women's Hearts Age Differently

Posted 20 Oct 2015 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 20, 2015 – The heart ages differently for women and men. And this suggests a possible need for gender-specific treatments, according to a study published Oct. 20 in the journal Radiology. "The shape of the heart changes over time in both men and women, but the patterns of change are different. Men's hearts tend to get heavier and the amount of blood they hold is less, while women's hearts don't get heavier," study author Dr. John Eng, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a journal news release. Researchers used MRIs to examine the hearts of nearly 3,000 people without heart disease in the United States. The participants underwent another MRI about 10 years later, when they were aged 54 to 94 years. Both women and men had decreases in the volume of their left ventricle, the chamber of the heart that pumps blood throughout the body. ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Slow Progress on Curbing Wasteful, 'Low-Value' Health Care Practices: Study

Posted 12 Oct 2015 by

MONDAY, Oct. 12, 2015 – As health care budgets get tighter across the United States, there's been a renewed focus on ridding the system of procedures that give patients little real benefit for the time and money spent. Now, a new study suggests that the use of at least three health care services deemed to be "low value" have dropped over the past few years. However, there were only slight decreases – and even increases – in the use of many other low-value services, the report found. In 2009, the National Physicians Alliance piloted an effort called the Choosing Wisely Campaign, aimed at cutting overuse and waste out of the health care system. The campaign lists hundreds of widely used medical practices and procedures that experts say are of little clinical good to patients. In the new study, a team led by Abiy Agiro, of HealthCore in Wilmington, Del., examined seven health services ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Back Pain, Hypertension, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Advil, Heart Failure, Sciatica, Congestive Heart Failure, Aleve, Renal Failure, Motrin, Chronic Kidney Disease, Vicoprofen, Human Papilloma Virus, Naprosyn, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Vimovo, Treximet, Advil PM

Excess Weight Helps Women With Heart Failure, Hurts Men: Study

Posted 7 Oct 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 – Overweight and mildly obese women with heart failure may live significantly longer than similarly heavy men with the progressive disease, a new study suggests. These heavier women may also outlive normal-weight females with heart failure by as much as 16 percent, said lead researcher Dr. Leslie Cho, director of the Cleveland Clinic Women's Cardiovascular Center. The bottom line: "It is not doomsday when an overweight or mildly obese patient, especially female, develops heart failure, as the prognosis may be quite good," said Dr. Carl Lavie, medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. "There is an 'obesity paradox' in heart failure," said Lavie, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the study. "Despite the adverse effects that overweight and obesity have on heart disease risk and on heart function, ... Read more

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

Move More to Prevent Heart Failure

Posted 5 Oct 2015 by

MONDAY, Oct. 5, 2015 – When it comes to preventing heart failure, the more exercise, the better. How much more? A new study suggests maybe as much as two to four times the U.S. minimum recommended levels of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week. The researchers reviewed 12 studies from the United States and Europe that included more than 370,000 people who were followed for an average of 15 years. People who did two to four times more exercise than the U.S. minimum activity recommendations lowered their risk of heart failure by 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively, the researchers found. The U.S. recommended minimum levels of exercise were associated with only a slight decrease in heart failure risk, the researchers found. The study was published Oct. 5 in the journal Circulation. "Walking 30 minutes a day as recommended in the U.S. physical activity guidelines may not be ... Read more

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

Finding Disease Cures Can Take Up to a Century: Analysis

Posted 24 Sep 2015 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 – A team of scientists has looked back over decades of discovery to conclude that it can take dozens of years, even a century, for cumulative research to lead to a cure for a single disease. The finding is disheartening given the current U.S. government underfunding of the basic science needed to investigate diseases, said a team led by Dr. R. Sanders Williams, president of the San Francisco-based Gladstone Institutes, a biomedical research organization. "As shown by our analysis, new treatments depend upon a broad base of scientific knowledge plus special contributions from a few exceptional scientists," Williams said in an institute news release. For anyone suffering from an illness, the dream word is "cure." True cures for disease remain rare, though. But, in the new study the Gladstone team traced the long investigative paths linking generations of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Heart Failure, Parkinson's Disease, Congestive Heart Failure, Diabetes, Type 1, Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Parkinsonism, Yervoy, Ipilimumab, Orkambi, Kalydeco, Ivacaftor/lumacaftor, Ivacaftor

Tai Chi Might Help People With Long-Term Health Conditions

Posted 17 Sep 2015 by

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2015 – The slow, fluid movements of tai chi – an ancient Chinese exercise – appear to help older adults with chronic conditions improve their physical function, a new review suggests. Specifically, those with breast cancer, heart failure, osteoarthritis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, which includes emphysema) saw improvements in strength, balance and posture without worsening pain or being out of breath, researchers said. "If you're older and have one of the conditions mentioned in the study, tai chi may be an alternative you can use to increase your fitness level," said senior researcher Darlene Reid, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto in Canada. Tai chi is a series of gentle, flowing movements that aim to improve muscle power, balance, posture and flexibility, she said. In addition, tai chi has ... Read more

Related support groups: Osteoarthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Breast Cancer, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Maintenance, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Acute, Breast Cancer, Prevention

Beware Unregulated Stem Cell Treatments, Experts Warn

Posted 9 Sep 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 9, 2015 – Hundreds of clinics across the United States are offering unapproved stem cell treatments for conditions from baldness to heart failure and Alzheimer's disease, researchers report. "These for-profit stem cell clinics operate outside mainstream regulatory frameworks normally in place to protect patients," said study lead author Hermes Taylor-Weiner, of the University of California, San Diego, bioengineering department. "These clinics are selling stem cell treatments that have not been shown to be safe or effective, so they are unproven," he said. Stem cells have been touted as miracle cures for a variety of diseases, but the field is not as advanced as the public believes, according to the report in the Sept. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "Patients need to have a healthy dose of skepticism when considering these treatments," Taylor-Weiner ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alzheimer's Disease

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