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New Stem Cell Tactic Shows Promise for Heart Failure

Posted 1 day 11 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 30, 2015 – A new method for delivering stem cells to damaged heart muscle has shown early promise in treating severe heart failure, researchers report. In a preliminary study, they found the tactic was safe and feasible for the 48 heart failure patients they treated. And after a year, the patients showed a modest improvement in the heart's pumping ability, on average. It's not clear yet whether those improvements could be meaningful, said lead researcher Dr. Amit Patel, director of cardiovascular regenerative medicine at the University of Utah. He said larger clinical trials are underway to see whether the approach could be an option for advanced heart failure. Other experts stressed the bigger picture: Researchers have long studied stem cells as a potential therapy for heart failure – with limited success so far. "There's been a lot of promise, but not much of a ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Diagnosis and Investigation

FDA Approves New Drug Entresto for Heart Failure

Posted 10 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first in a new class of drugs that show promise for combating heart failure. The approval of Entresto (sacubitril/varsatan) was sped up after a clinical trial found it significantly reduced the rate of death and hospitalization due to heart failure compared to another, often-prescribed treatment, the FDA said in a news release. Heart failure, which is characterized by the heart's inability to pump enough blood, affects some 5.1 million people in the United States. Heart attack, high blood pressure and other conditions that damage the heart are primary causes, the FDA said. "Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability in adults," Dr. Norman Stockbridge, director of the division of cardiovascular and renal products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the news release. ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Entresto, Sacubitril/valsartan

Deaths From High Blood Pressure Should Plummet Under 'Obamacare': Study

Posted 9 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 9, 2015 – U.S. deaths from blood pressure-related diseases are expected to drop substantially during the coming decades because of improved health coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act, a new study reports. Increased treatment of high blood pressure under the health-care legislation, commonly known as "Obamacare," will save the lives of 95,000 to 222,000 non-elderly adults by the year 2050, researchers estimate. That's up to 6,000 people a year who otherwise would die from heart disease. By 2050, there also could be 408,000 fewer cases of heart disease and stroke among the 55 million young and middle-age Americans who have high blood pressure, the researchers found. Those numbers are based solely on patients' increased access to blood pressure medication as a result of the Affordable Care Act, said study lead author Suhui Li. She is an assistant professor of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Intracranial Hemorrhage, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Hypertensive Congestive Heart Failure

Entresto Approved for Heart Failure

Posted 8 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the drug Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan) to treat heart failure. Characterized by the heart's inability to pump enough blood, the progressive disease affects some 5.1 million people in the United States. Heart attack, high blood pressure and other conditions that damage the heart are primary causes, the agency said in a news release. "Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability in adults," Dr. Norman Stockbridge, director of the division of cardiovascular and renal products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the news release. "Treatment can help people with heart failure live longer and enjoy more active lives." Entresto was evaluated in clinical trials involving more than 8,000 adults. It was shown to reduce the rate of cardiovascular death and hospitalization, ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Entresto, Sacubitril/valsartan

FDA Approves Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan) for Heart Failure

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

July 7, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Entresto (sacubitril/valsartan) tablets for the treatment of heart failure. The drug has been shown to reduce the rate of cardiovascular death and hospitalization related to heart failure. 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 generally worsens over time as the heart's pumping action grows weaker. The leading causes of heart failure are diseases that damage the heart, such as heart attacks and high blood pressure. “Heart failure is a leading cause of death and disability in adults,” said Norman Stockbridge, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Renal Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Treatment can help people with ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Sacubitril/valsartan, Entresto

Keeping Fit May Halve Seniors' Heart Failure Risk

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – In more good news for those who don't let aging keep them from practicing healthy habits, a new study finds the fittest seniors are half as likely as others to suffer from heart failure. "Older adults can make simple changes to reduce their heart failure risk, such as not smoking, engaging in moderate physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight," said study author Liana Del Gobbo, a Ph.D. student with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. Heart failure is very common among older people, the researchers said. "A person aged 55 has a one-in-three chance of developing heart failure in his lifetime," Del Gobbo said, and the condition is the leading cause of hospitalization in people covered by Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for seniors. "Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficiently ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Heart Failure, Smoking Cessation, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Many Americans Ill-Informed About Heart Failure: Survey

Posted 16 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 – Large gaps exist in Americans' knowledge about heart failure, even though nearly 6 million people nationwide have it, a new survey finds. Nearly half of the more than 1,600 survey participants did not know basic facts about heart failure. And two-thirds confused signs of heart failure with signs of heart attack, according to the American Heart Association survey. Respondents included the general public, heart-failure patients and caregivers of people with heart failure. Fifty-eight percent of the participants mistakenly thought heart failure was a natural cause of death that occurs when the heart stops beating. Forty-six percent incorrectly said heart failure is a silent killer with no symptoms. In fact, heart failure occurs when the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fatigue, weight gain of 3 or more ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

'Moderate'Drinking Might Harm Older People's Hearts: Study

Posted 26 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 26, 2015 – "Moderate" drinking might harm your heart if you're a senior citizen, a new study suggests. And women appear to be at greater risk for alcohol-related heart damage than men, the researchers found. "In an elderly population, increasing alcohol intake is associated with subtle alterations in heart structure and function, with women appearing more susceptible than men to the toxic effects of alcohol," said lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Goncalves. She is a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. The study involved more than 4,400 adults, average age 76. The investigators found that women who drank even moderately – one drink daily – experienced a small reduction in heart function. Among men, consuming more than 14 drinks a week – considered heavy drinking – was linked to enlargement of the heart's left ... Read more

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

Depression Linked to Death of Many Heart Failure Patients

Posted 25 May 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, May 23, 2015 – Depression significantly increases the risk of death in heart failure patients, a new study finds. Heart failure patients with moderate to severe depression had a five times higher risk of death than those with no or mild depression, researchers found. "We know that depression is common in heart failure and affects 20 to 40 percent of patients," said study author John Cleland, a professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the University of Hull in England. Of the 154 patients studied, 27 had mild depression and 24 had moderate to severe depression. Over an average follow-up of 302 days, 27 patients died. The increased risk of death associated with moderate to severe depression was independent of other health problems and the severity of heart failure, the researchers said. The study was to be presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the Heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Dysthymia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Many Aging Boomers Face Chronic Illness, But Death Rate Is Falling: CDC

Posted 6 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – A new study finds mixed results for the health of America's aging "Baby Boom" generation, with nearly half of people ages 55 to 64 taking a prescription heart drug and about 1 in 5 dealing with diabetes. However, the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also finds that the overall death rate in this age group has gone down over the past decade. The report shows that the "prevalence of diabetes and obesity among Baby Boomers remains remarkably high and is a public health concern," said Dr. Ronald Tamler, who directs the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute in New York City. But he said the new findings also show that "interventions focusing on heart health are beginning to pay off." The new data comes from an annual report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, looking at 2014 statistics on the health of all ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Myocardial Infarction, Hypertriglyceridemia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diabetes Mellitus, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Heart Drug Digoxin May Not Be Best for Some Heart Patients

Posted 5 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 5, 2015 – Taking the heart drug digoxin may increase the risk of premature death in patients with an irregular heartbeat and in those suffering from heart failure, German researchers report. In the review of published studies on the subject, patients treated with digoxin had a 21 percent increased risk of early death overall from any cause, compared with patients not taking the drug. Among patients with the irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation, researchers found a 29 percent greater risk of premature death, while the increased risk was 14 percent among heart failure patients. "Digoxin should be used with great caution," said lead researcher Dr. Stefan Hohnloser, a professor of cardiology at the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt. "There are better drugs for many patients, for instance in those who receive the drug for atrial fibrillation," he said, which ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Digoxin, Multaq, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Lanoxin, Dronedarone, Asystole, Digitek, Digox, Cardoxin, Lanoxicaps

Heart Failure Implant Tied to Weakening of Thinking, Memory

Posted 30 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 – A mechanical device that restores a failing heart's ability to pump blood might contribute to a decline in memory and thinking in some patients, a new study reports. Left ventricular assist devices are surgically implanted in patients with advanced heart failure who are awaiting a heart transplant or unable to receive one, said lead author Dr. Timothy Fendler, a research fellow at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. "These devices have become a mainstay of treatment for people with severe heart failure over the past 15 years, and offer really phenomenal survival benefits," Fendler said. But Fendler is co-author of two studies that suggest survival due to a left ventricular assist device might come at a cost. More than one in four patients who receive such a device experienced a notable decline in their ability to remember, plan and ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Organ Transplant, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Knowledge Is Power for Patients With Heart Failure

Posted 29 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 29, 2015 – Heart failure patients may be more likely to die following hospitalization if they have a hard time reading, understanding and using health information, a new study suggests. People with low "health literacy" who wound up in the hospital with acute heart failure ran a 34 percent greater risk of dying during the study period if they didn't grasp the information that doctors and nurses provided them about their condition, said lead author Dr. Candace McNaughton. She is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. "Patients with lower health literacy skills may have difficulty communicating with health care providers, navigating the health care system, recognizing signs of health decline, and knowing when and who to contact when they do become ill," McNaughton said. For example, heart failure patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Lasix, Congestive Heart Failure, Furosemide, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography, Diaqua-2, Lo-Aqua

Depression Tied to Worse Outcomes for Black Patients With Heart Failure

Posted 22 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 – Depression seems to increase the risk of hospitalization and death in black heart failure patients, a new study finds. Researchers assessed depression symptoms – such as difficulty with concentration, a lack of energy and feelings of hopelessness or helplessness – in nearly 750 black patients with heart failure. About one-third of them had symptoms of depression. The researchers then compared outcomes to more than 1,400 white patients with heart failure. Even moderate depressive symptoms appeared to boost the risk of hospitalization or death for black patients, according to the study published April 21 in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure. The researchers also found that black patients whose depression symptoms worsened over three months were a third more likely to die or be hospitalized than those with stable depression symptoms. All of this means ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Corlanor (ivabradine) to Treat Heart Failure

Posted 15 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

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

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