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Atrial Fibrillation News

Related terms: A-fib, Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, PAF, AFib, AF

Exercise a Great Prescription to Help Older Hearts

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 – Regular exercise is potent medicine for older adults with heart disease, a new American Heart Association scientific statement says. Physical activity should be a key part of care for older adults with heart disease who want to reduce their symptoms and build their stamina, said geriatric cardiologist Dr. Daniel Forman. He's chair of the panel that wrote the new statement. "Many health-care providers are focused only on the medical management of diseases – such as heart failure, heart attacks, valvular heart disease and strokes – without directly focusing on helping patients maximize their physical function," Forman said in a heart association news release. Yet, after a heart attack or other cardiac event, patients need to gain strength. Their independence may require the ability "to lift a grocery bag and to carry it to their car," said Forman, a professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Transient Ischemic Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Ischemic Heart Disease

Heart Drug Digoxin May Raise Death Risk for Some Patients: Study

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – The heart drug digoxin might raise the risk of death in people with a common heart rhythm disorder, and those patients should not take the drug, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 18,000 atrial fibrillation patients in an international stroke prevention trial, including about 32 percent who were on digoxin at the start of the trial and nearly 7 percent who started taking the drug at some point during the trial. There was no significant association between digoxin use and death risk among patients who were already taking digoxin and therefore more likely to tolerate it, said study author Dr. Renato Lopes, a member of the Clinical Research Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C. However, even among those patients, the risk of death was related to digoxin concentration in the blood. For every 0.5 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Digoxin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Lanoxin, Digitek, Digox, Cardoxin, Lanoxicaps

Pradaxa Beats Warfarin After Heart Rhythm Procedure: Study

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Patients undergoing a surgical procedure to treat an irregular heartbeat are less likely to suffer problematic bleeding when given the blood thinner Pradaxa rather than warfarin, a new study finds. The two blood thinners were evaluated in a study of more than 600 patients. All had a minimally invasive procedure called catheter ablation to correct the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation. The risk of having a major bleeding event among patients taking warfarin (Coumadin) was about 7 percent, whereas the risk among those taking Pradaxa (dabigatran) was just under 2 percent, said lead researcher Dr. Hugh Calkins. "It's an absolute risk difference of 5 [percentage points], or a 77 percent lower risk," said Calkins, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. "I think this will change practice," he said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Reversal of Dabigatran

Are Blood Thinners Overused in Patients With Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Many people living with the heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation may be taking unneeded blood thinners, a new study suggests. These blood thinners, which include aspirin, Plavix and warfarin, are believed to reduce the risk of stroke that can come with atrial fibrillation. But for many atrial fibrillation patients with a low stroke risk, the medications might actually increase both bleeding and stroke risk, researchers reported. The way most doctors decide whether a patient needs a blood thinner is by using a simple score called CHADS2, which assigns points to patients based on age and other medical risks. A score of 2 is usually needed to recommend a blood thinner, the researchers explained. But, "people are realizing that the CHADS2 scores are putting too many people above the threshold – it's pretty easy to get a 2," explained study author ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Aspirin, Atrial Fibrillation, Plavix, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Clopidogrel, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Bayer Aspirin, Arthritis Pain Formula

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Many people with an irregular heartbeat who suffer a stroke may not have been on medications that might have prevented their stroke, a new study suggests. Duke University researchers found that 84 percent of stroke patients with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation (AF) had not been getting adequate clot-preventing therapy. Dr. David Wilber, a cardiologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, called the findings "sobering." "This emphasizes the fact that probably the most important cause of stroke in AF patients is under-anticoagulation or no anticoagulation," said Wilber, who is also editor-in-chief of the journal JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. Study lead researcher Dr. Ying Xian agreed. "We estimate that the vast majority of these strokes could have been prevented if patients had the appropriate anticoagulation," said Xian, an ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Jantoven

Shocks From Implanted Defibrillators Trigger Health Costs of Their Own

Posted 15 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 15, 2017 – While implanted defibrillators can deliver a potentially lifesaving shock to a heart that's beating erratically, patients often wind up in the emergency room or the hospital needing medical procedures afterwards, a new study shows. That was the case whether the shock was needed or not, and in 38 percent of cases it wasn't, the researchers added. "I see two implications," said study co-author Dr. Matthew Reynolds. "First, we need to do all we can to minimize these shock events, which are known to negatively affect patients' quality of life, are undesirable clinically and, in our study, trigger costly medical interventions." These procedures include invasive measures to test the heart's function, according to the study. "Second, there is no standard approach to managing these events . . . so we need to develop a better understanding of which interventions are ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Ischemic Heart Disease

Heart Disease Could Cost U.S. $1 Trillion Per Year By 2035: Report

Posted 14 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 14, 2017 – Heart disease is increasing at a troubling pace in the United States, with costs expected to double from $555 billion in 2016 to a whopping $1.1 trillion in 2035, a new American Heart Association report estimates. "Our new projections indicate cardiovascular disease is on a course that could bankrupt our nation's economy and health care system," said AHA President Steven Houser. He's also associate dean of research at Temple University in Philadelphia. By 2035, 45 percent of the total U.S. population – about 131 million people – will have at least one health problem related to heart disease, the AHA report projected. Heart disease is spreading much more quickly than previously estimated, Houser said at a news conference. The last time the AHA performed these calculations, in 2011, researchers projected that by 2030 about 40 percent of the United States would ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis

Hospitalizations for Common Heart Rhythm Problem on the Rise

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – U.S. patients with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (AFib) are ending up in the hospital more often than before, a new study says. The good news is that they're surviving more, too. "The more intensive and costly inpatient care that we're providing for AFib recently is associated with decreasing rates of readmission and both short- and longer-term death rates," study first author Dr. James Freeman said in a Yale University news release. He is an assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at the school. Freeman noted that use of several newer treatments increased during the study period, including catheter ablation and medications. The use of ablation, which involves burning or freezing specific areas of the heart, rose along with improvements in hospitalizations and death rates. Atrial fibrillation – marked by electrical irregularities ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiothoracic Surgery

'Ablation' Procedure Helps 3 out of 4 Patients With Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 25 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 25, 2017 – Just how successful is the procedure called catheter ablation at fixing irregular heartbeats that can be potentially fatal? Pretty successful, a new study found, but there are caveats. Burning or freezing specific areas of the heart can alleviate the common irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation in 74 percent of patients. However, the procedure doesn't work for everyone and there are risks of complications, researchers report. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of early death by two times in women and 1.5 times in men. It causes 20 to 30 percent of all strokes and can decrease quality of life due to palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness and psychological distress, the study authors explained. About 2.7 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation, according to the American Heart Association. For those whose atrial ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Atrial Tachycardia, Argatroban, Refludan, Desirudin, Lepirudin, Angiomax, Iprivask, Anisindione, Miradon

Implanted Defibrillators Benefit Seniors: Study

Posted 18 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18, 2017 – Seniors who receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) have high survival rates, a new study finds. An ICD – which is placed under the skin and connected to the heart with wires – detects an irregular heartbeat and delivers an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm. In the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 12,400 Medicare patients, aged 65 and older, who received an ICD after sudden cardiac arrest or a nearly fatal fast heart rhythm. Nearly 80 percent of the patients survived two years after receiving the implanted device, according to the study published Jan. 16 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. More than 65 percent of the patients were hospitalized during the two years after receiving an ICD. Rates ranged from 60.5 percent among those younger than age 70 to 71.5 percent among those 80 and older. About 13 ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Flutter, Ventricular Arrhythmia

One-Third With Atrial Fibrillation Don't Take Blood Thinners

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Many people with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation stop taking the blood-thinning medication that's prescribed to help prevent a stroke, a new study reveals. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that causes the heart to quiver. This raises the risk of blood clots and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. People who've had a medical procedure such as cardioversion (electrical shocks to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest) or ablation (using heat, cold or radio energy to scar heart tissue via catheter or surgery) to help manage their condition were even more likely to ditch their prescribed drugs. "We don't know if changing the heart to a normal rhythm, by either cardioversion or ablation, always removes the risk of stroke," said study author Dr. Geoffrey Barnes, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Lovenox, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Enoxaparin, Fragmin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Innohep, Dalteparin, Tinzaparin, Normiflo, Heparin Sodium, Clexane Forte, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heparin Flush

Study Ties Alcohol Abuse to Increased Heart Risks

Posted 2 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 2, 2017 – A new study suggests that people who abuse alcohol also boost their risk of three cardiac conditions: atrial fibrillation, heart attack and congestive heart failure. The possible added risk appears to be about the same as that linked to high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and diabetes, the researchers said. "We found that even if you have no underlying risk factors, abuse of alcohol still increases the risk of these heart conditions," lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus said in an American College of Cardiology news release. Marcus is director of clinical research at the University of California, San Francisco's division of cardiology. The study was based on a database of close to 15 million Californians aged 21 and older who had outpatient surgery, emergency room treatment or inpatient hospital care between 2005 and 2009. About 2 percent had been diagnosed with ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol Withdrawal, Myocardial Infarction, Alcoholism, Alcoholic Cirrhosis, Acute Alcohol Intoxication, Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy, Alcohol Hepatitis

Head Off 'Holiday Heart Syndrome'

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – Overindulging over the holidays can take a toll on the heart, according to experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Heavy drinking and eating too much, especially salty foods, can trigger atrial fibrillation. A-fib is an irregular heartbeat that causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract rapidly, increasing the risk for stroke. People with the condition may feel short of breath, have heart palpitations and feel like their heart is beating much faster than usual. During December when holiday revelry peaks, emergency rooms see a surge of patients with what's unofficially dubbed "holiday heart syndrome" from too much food and drink, according to UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. Sharon Reimold. "It's common for people to go to multiple parties during this time of year. You go to one party and have a drink or two, go to the next party and have a ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Atrial Fibrillation, Weight Loss, Alcohol Dependence, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Alcoholism, Hangover, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Heart Rate Change When Standing Up Might Predict Older Adult's Death Risk

Posted 7 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 7, 2016 – Tracking the change in an older adult's heart rate when they stand up might reveal their risk of death over the next several years, a new study suggests. As the researchers explained, when people stand up their heart rate initially increases, and then recovers. The speed of that heart rate recovery in the 20 seconds after standing predicted an older adult's risk of dying within the next four years, according to a team at Trinity College Dublin, in Ireland. "The speed of heart rate recovery in response to standing is an important marker of health and vitality that could be assessed quite readily in a clinical setting such as a hospital," study lead author Dr. Cathal McCrory said in a college news release. One cardiologist in the United States believes the new test has promise. "Changes in heart rate during specific activities is a normal response," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Atrial Flutter, Bradyarrhythmia, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Regular Drinkers, Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 5 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 5, 2016 – Regularly drinking even small amounts of alcohol may boost the risk of an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, a new research review finds. "The results are significant, since chances are, there are people who are consuming one to two glasses of alcohol per day that may not realize they are putting themselves at risk for irregular heartbeat," said study lead author Dr. Peter Kistler. He is head of clinical electrophysiology research at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Other research has linked light-to-moderate alcohol use (up to two standard drinks a day for men and one for women) to better heart health for some people. The new research suggests that this may not apply to atrial fibrillation, which boosts the risk of heart-related problems and stroke. The authors of the new study reviewed prior research that ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Alcohol Dependence, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Alcoholism, Hangover, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

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