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

Shocks From Implanted Defibrillators Trigger Health Costs of Their Own

Posted 5 days ago 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 6 days ago 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 14 days ago 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, Angiomax, Lepirudin, 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, Heparin Flush, Normiflo, Heparin Sodium, Ardeparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery

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

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Posted 21 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood thinner, Pradaxa, with certain statin medications could raise the odds for bleeding in these patients. "An increase in the risk of bleeding requiring hospital admission or emergency department visits was seen with lovastatin [Mevacor] and simvastatin [Zocor] compared with the other statins," said study author Tony Antoniou, a pharmacist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 46,000 patients ages 65 and older. All had atrial fibrillation and took Pradaxa (dabigatran) to reduce their risk of stroke. Those who also took either lovastatin or simvastatin had a 40 percent higher risk of bleeding than those who took other statins, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Pradaxa, Zocor, Lovastatin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Mevacor

Lifestyle, Stress May Play Role in Heart Rhythm Disorder

Posted 20 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Nov. 19, 2016 – Stress and poor heart-health habits significantly increase the risk of a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation, two preliminary studies suggest. The irregular or quivering heartbeat associated with atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications, the American Heart Association says. One new study included more than 6,500 adults without heart disease. They were rated on seven factors related to heart health: smoking, body mass index, physical activity, diet, total cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar. The heart association calls these Life's Simple 7. Compared to those with the worst scores, adults who scored highest were 41 percent less likely to develop atrial fibrillation. Those with average scores were 8 percent less likely to develop the abnormal heartbeat. Although the ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation

Hi-Tech Skin Patch Might Someday Track Your Health

Posted 17 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – A new type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say. The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, researchers say. "We've developed a soft, skin-like device that can listen to internal sounds created by function of internal organs," explained study co-author John Rogers. He was a professor of materials science and engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the study and is currently at Northwestern University. "Think of the device as a wearable, skin-mounted ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Sinus Node Dysfunction, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Many With Common Irregular Heartbeat Unaware of Stroke Risk

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Nearly one-third of Americans newly diagnosed with the common heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation (AF) don't realize the condition puts them at increased risk for stroke, a new study finds. The irregular heartbeat in AF patients can cause blood to pool, which can cause blood clots that can lead to stroke, researchers explained. The study revealed misconceptions some patients had about atrial fibrillation. "This helps us see gaps in knowledge and understanding," said lead author Emily O'Brien, from the Clinical Research Institute at Duke University in Durham, N.C. O'Brien and her team surveyed 1,000 people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in the past six months. Their median age was 69. About 63 percent strongly agreed that stroke is a major risk factor of atrial fibrillation. However, around 32 percent believed that heart attack is a major risk factor ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Many Atrial Fibrillation Patients Missing Out on Blood Thinners

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Half of patients hospitalized with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation aren't given blood-thinning drugs that reduce the risk of clots and stroke, a new study finds. Atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, puts people at higher risk for blood clots and stroke, researchers from Duke University said. They analyzed nearly 1.6 million admissions for atrial fibrillation at 812 hospitals across the United States over five years and found that only 46 percent of patients received blood thinners at discharge. "This low rate of [blood thinner] use in hospitalized patients highlights an important opportunity to improve care in atrial fibrillation patients," said study co-author Dr. Sean Pokorney, an electrophysiology fellow at Duke School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. The patients in the study were 40 and older, stayed in the hospital for at least ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Arixtra, Jantoven, Fondaparinux, Edoxaban, Savaysa, Dicumarol, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Miradon, Anisindione, Arixtra 10 mg/dose, Arixtra 7.5 mg/dose

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