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Heart Failure Blog

Related terms: CHF

FDA Approves Corlanor (ivabradine) to Treat Heart Failure

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago by

April 15, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Corlanor (ivabradine) to reduce hospitalization from worsening heart failure. Corlanor is approved for use in certain people who have long-lasting (chronic) heart failure caused by the lower-left part of their heart not contracting well. The drug is indicated for patients who have symptoms of heart failure that are stable, a normal heartbeat with a resting heart rate of at least 70 beats per minute and are also taking beta blockers at the highest dose they can tolerate. Heart failure is a common condition affecting about 5.1 million people in the United States. It is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Heart failure develops over time as the heart's pumping action grows weaker. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart, such as coronary heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Cardiology

A Grateful Heart May Be a Healthy Heart

Posted 5 days ago by

MONDAY, April 13, 2015 – Being thankful for the good things in life may benefit heart failure patients, a new study suggests. The research included almost 200 heart failure patients who didn't yet have any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or fatigue. Halting the disease progression at this point – known as stage B – can prevent it from moving to stage C. In stage C, patients have a five times higher risk for death, according to the researchers. Patients completed standard psychological tests so researchers could assess the patients' levels of gratitude and spiritual well-being. Higher levels of gratitude were associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and less inflammation, a factor that can worsen heart failure, according to the study. However, it's important to note that this study was only able to find an association between feeling grateful and improved heart ... Read more

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

Fried Foods Tied to Raised Heart Failure Risk

Posted 3 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 – The more fried food you eat, the greater your risk for heart failure, a new study says. "This study suggests that it might be wise to reduce the frequency and quantity of fried foods consumed weekly in order to prevent heart failure and other chronic conditions," said lead researcher Dr. Luc Djousse, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Heart failure means the heart isn't pumping blood throughout the body as well as it should. Symptoms include fatigue and shortness of breath, and it's one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among people aged 65 and older, according to the American Heart Association. In this study, men who ate fried food one to three times a week had an average 18 percent increased risk of developing heart failure, researchers found. When fried food was eaten four to six times a week, heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Heart Failure Patients Who Struggle With Daily Tasks at Greatest Risk

Posted 25 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25, 2015 – Heart failure patients who struggle to perform daily tasks are at increased risk for hospitalization and death, a new study shows. The study included more than 1,100 people with heart failure, average age 75, who were classified as having either minimal, moderate or severe difficulty with activities such as getting dressed, cleaning the house, climbing stairs, taking medications and using the bathroom. "Difficulty with daily living is easy to assess in a routine doctor's visit, and can provide important information to help guide conversations about goals of care," wrote study author Dr. Shannon Dunlay, an advanced heart failure cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Patients who report difficulties may be candidates for a more thorough assessment and physical therapy evaluation to improve or halt the decline in mobility," she added. "Our ... Read more

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

Are Too Many Heart Failure Patients Getting IV Fluids?

Posted 2 Feb 2015 by

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 – Potentially harmful intravenous (IV) fluids are being given to too many patients with severe heart failure, a new study suggests. As researchers from Yale University explained, heart failure patients in the hospital typically receive drugs called diuretics to prevent excess fluid buildup and to improve their symptoms. However, many will also receive IV fluids early in a hospital stay. This influx of IV fluids to heart failure patients may actually worsen their condition, the investigator said. In the study, a team led by Dr. Behnood Bikdeli, a research scholar at Yale University's Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, looked at data from more than 130,000 hospitalizations of severe heart failure patients. All of the patients received IV fluids during their first two days in hospital, and more than 11 percent were treated with IV fluids in addition to ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure

Certain Heart Drug, Antibiotic Combo Might Be Fatal for Seniors

Posted 2 Feb 2015 by

MONDAY, Feb. 2, 2015 – The combination of a widely used heart medication and a commonly prescribed antibiotic seems to more than double the risk of sudden death in seniors, a new study says. Spironolactone (brand name Aldactone) is a diuretic widely used in treating heart failure. It protects the heart by blocking a hormone that causes salt and fluid buildup. But taking spironolactone alongside the antibiotic trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (brand names Septra, Bactrim) can cause blood potassium to rise to potentially life-threatening levels, said study lead author Tony Antoniou, a scientist with the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "One of the consequences of a high potassium level is getting these irregular heart rhythms that can be quite dangerous and cause sudden deaths," Antoniou said. To test the potential hazards of this drug combination, ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Bactrim, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Spironolactone, Bactrim DS, Septra, Aldactone, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Septra DS, Cotrimoxazole, Sulfatrim, SMZ-TMP DS, Sulfatrim Pediatric, Co-trimoxazole, Cotrim, Bactrim IV, Bethaprim, Cotrim DS

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

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by

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, Denatured Alcohol, Dehydrated Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, Alcohol 5% in Dextrose 5%, Lavacol, Alcare Plus

Scientists Spot Mutation Behind Genetic Form of Heart Failure

Posted 14 Jan 2015 by

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

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

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, Slow-K, Micro-K 10, K-Tab, K + Potassium, Micro-K, K-Dur 20, K-10, K-Dur 10, KCl, KCl-20, Epiklor, Kaon-CI

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