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Heart, Lung Problems May Not Always Need ICU Care

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – The intensive care unit (ICU) may not improve the chances of survival for all patients with serious heart problems, a new study suggests. "We found that the ICU may not always be the answer. Now, we need to help doctors decide who needs the ICU and who doesn't," study lead author Dr. Thomas Valley said. He's a pulmonary and critical care researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School. Researchers examined 1.5 million Medicare records to determine outcomes for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart attack and worsening heart failure. Many patients with these conditions are admitted to an ICU. There was no difference in 30-day death rates between patients in the ICU and those who received regular inpatient care in another type of hospital unit, the study authors said. However, ICU care was almost $5,000 more for patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Dyspnea, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Respiratory Tract Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Respiratory Failure, Respiratory Depression, Left Ventriculography, Respiratory Arrest

Calcium Buildup in Young Arteries May Signal Heart Attack Risk

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – Young adults with any amount of calcified plaque in their arteries are already at risk of a heart attack, a new study finds. Among those 32 to 46 years old, even a little calcified plaque – called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries – can boost the odds for fatal or nonfatal heart disease fivefold over the next 12 years, researchers found. "Heart disease really begins in adolescence and early adulthood," said lead researcher Dr. Jeffrey Carr. Carr is a professor of radiology, biomedical informatics and cardiovascular medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. For the study, CT scans, which can detect these potentially deadly blockages, were performed on more than 3,000 participants whose average age was 40. Just a small amount of plaque increased the risk of heart attack over the next decade by 10 percent, regardless of other risk ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Metoprolol, Smoking, Heart Disease, Atenolol, Ischemic Stroke, Losartan, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack, Propranolol, Benicar, Diovan, Heart Failure, Spironolactone, Congestive Heart Failure, Bystolic, Lasix

Soft Robotic Sleeve Shows Promise for Failing Hearts

Posted 18 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 18, 2017 – Scientists are reporting some early success with a "soft robotic" device aimed at treating advanced heart failure. The hope, the researchers said, is to improve upon ventricular assist devices, or VADs, that are currently used for severe heart failure. The new device has been tested only on pig hearts – so there is a long way to go yet, the study authors said. It will likely be a few years before the device could be used in humans, according to researcher Ellen Roche. She is a biomedical engineer who led the study at Harvard University. But if the device pans out, it could be used in the same way that VADs are now, said Roche. She's currently with the National University of Ireland in Galway. VADs are implantable pumps that help the heart's lower chambers send blood to the body. The devices are sometimes used to manage advanced heart failure – a chronic ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Lasix, Furosemide, Ramipril, Enalapril, Benazepril, Perindopril, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Quinapril, Zestril, Vasotec, Bumetanide, Lotensin, Altace, Captopril, Accupril, Bumex, Organ Transplant

Heart Failure Drug Shows Promise in First Human Trial

Posted 27 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 27, 2016 – Heart failure patients have weakened hearts, but researchers say an experimental drug used for the first time in humans may repair heart cells and improve heart function. According to the results of a small phase 1 trial, a single intravenous infusion of the drug cimaglermin was safe and, at high doses, improved heart function for at least three months. "Right now we have many therapies that we use for heart failure, and these patients [in the study] were on all of those therapies and still had significant heart dysfunction," said lead researcher Dr. Daniel Lenihan. He's a professor of medicine and director of Vanderbilt University's heart clinical research program in Nashville. People with heart failure often take a combination of drugs, Lenihan said. These include medications to lower blood pressure and diuretics to help remove excess fluid that builds up as ... Read more

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

Heart Failure Protein May Signal Early Brain Damage

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Higher blood levels of a specific heart disease protein are associated with brain damage, a new study suggests. N-terminal Pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is a protein released into the blood in response to heart wall stress. Blood levels of NT-proBNP rise when heart failure worsens and fall when it gets better. Previous research has found a link between heart disease and brain disease, but the role of NT-proBNP was unclear. Researchers in the Netherlands looked at nearly 2,400 middle-aged and elderly heart disease patients without dementia and found a clear association between blood levels of NT-proBNP and brain damage detected on MRIs. But the study did not prove that higher levels of this protein actually caused brain damage. The study was published online Dec. 7 in the journal Radiology. "We found that higher serum levels of NT-proBNP were ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Head Injury, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness, Left Ventriculography

Device Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Treat Heart Failure

Posted 16 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – A hard-to-treat form of heart failure may be relieved by an experimental device that creates a hole inside the heart muscle, according to new clinical trial results. The InterAtrial Shunt Device opens up and maintains an 8-millimeter (mm) hole in the wall of tissue separating the two upper chambers of the heart (the atria), said lead researcher Dr. David Kaye. He's a senior cardiologist at Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The technique appears to work, Kaye's team reported Wednesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting, in New Orleans. A group of 64 people who received the implant experienced better pumping output from their heart a year after the procedure, Kaye said. Their hearts were able to take on more workload, and they could exercise for longer periods of time. "The device is safe, with an acceptable complication rate," Kaye said. A ... Read more

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

Prices of Generic Heart Failure Drugs Vary Widely

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Cash prices of generic medicines to treat heart failure vary so widely that some patients may not be able to afford to fill all of their prescriptions, a new study suggests. In the greater St. Louis area, the cost of filling prescriptions for three common drugs – digoxin, lisinopril and carvedilol – ranged from as little as $12 to as much as $400 a month, the researchers found. Cardiologist Dr. Paul Hauptman, the study's lead author, said retail pricing is confusing and inconsistent. Patients "can encounter some major sticker shock," he said. The wide range of prices was unrelated to the drug dose or duration of therapy, the area where the pharmacy does business, whether it was a chain or independent pharmacy, or median income in pharmacy ZIP codes, the researchers noted. "There may be different reasons for different pricing practices, but this clearly needs ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Carvedilol, Digoxin, Coreg, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Zestril, Coreg CR, Lanoxin, Zestoretic, Prinivil, Digitek, Prinzide, Digox, Qbrelis, Left Ventriculography, Cardoxin, Lanoxicaps

Meat-Heavy Diets May Raise Older Women's Heart Risks

Posted 14 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2016 – Women over 50 who follow a high-protein diet could have a higher risk for heart failure, especially if most of their protein comes from meat, researchers report. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect. However, postmenopausal women with the most protein in their diet had a 60 percent increased risk of heart failure, compared with women who ate little protein, the study found. The findings were presented Monday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New Orleans. Most of the risk appears to come from animal protein, said study author Dr. Mohamad Firas Barbour. He's an internist at Brown University's Alpert Medical School and Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island in Pawtucket. Women who got most of their protein from vegetable sources appeared to have a nearly 20 percent reduced risk of heart failure, Barbour said. "The higher total dietary protein ... Read more

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

Device Plus 'Aggressive' Drug Strategy May Curb Severe Heart Failure

Posted 13 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 13, 2016 – A combination of an implanted heart device and intensive drug therapy may help boost heart function in end-stage heart failure patients, preliminary results of an ongoing study suggest. The research focused on 36 patients who were implanted with what's known as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a kind of heart pump. "Patients who receive this assist device generally are in line to receive a heart transplant," explained cardiologist Dr. Michael Kim, who reviewed the new findings. "Because there are not nearly enough hearts available for transplantation relative to the need for heart transplantation, these newer assist devices can keep these sick patients alive until a heart does become available, sometimes for years," said Kim. He directs interventional cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The new study was led by Dr. Emma Birks, professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Losartan, Heart Failure, Spironolactone, Congestive Heart Failure, Carvedilol, Digoxin, Cozaar, Coreg, Hyzaar, Aldactone, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Hydrochlorothiazide/Lisinopril, Zestril, Coreg CR, Zestoretic, Lanoxin, Hydrochlorothiazide/Losartan, Prinivil, Digitek

Discovery Speeds Creation of Healthy Heart Cells From Scar Tissue

Posted 11 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 – A new discovery in mice may boost efforts to find an effective treatment for heart failure in humans, researchers say. Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco tested an estimated 5,500 chemicals and identified two that help transform scar tissue in the heart into healthy, beating heart muscle. When heart muscle is damaged, the body can't repair dead or injured heart cells. The researchers investigated cellular reprogramming (turning one type of adult cell into another) as a way to regenerate heart muscle cells. In experiments with mice, the investigators were able to convert 10 percent of scar tissue cells into heart muscle cells, according to an institute news release. The two newly identified chemicals increased by eightfold the number of heart cells created. The chemicals also sped up the process, achieving in one week what used to take six ... Read more

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

Queen Latifah Puts Heart Failure Center Stage

Posted 30 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2016 – When her mother was diagnosed with heart failure, the award-winning singer and actress Queen Latifah was shocked. Her mom, Rita Owens, was a New Jersey high school teacher only in her early 50s. But after she passed out at school one day, doctors determined she was one of 6 million Americans with heart failure, a chronic, progressive disorder. Like many of them, Owens had missed the early symptoms of the disorder, including shortness of breath and unusual fatigue. If she had known what to look for, "she might have caught it sooner," Latifah said. Her family's experience galvanized Latifah to speak out about the illness. The Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe winner headlined an American Heart Association (AHA) panel discussion on Facebook Thursday, hoping to shine some star power on the potentially life-threatening condition. "Being involved with the AHA is really ... Read more

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

Smoking Thickens Heart Wall, Leading to Heart Failure: Study

Posted 13 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 – Smoking leads to heart failure by causing thickened heart walls and reducing the heart's ability to pump, a new study shows. The research also found that smoking more and longer over a lifetime were associated with greater heart damage. Researchers assessed the hearts of 4,580 U.S. adults using echocardiography – ultrasound of the heart. The participants' average age was nearly 76. None had any obvious signs of heart disease. Even after accounting for factors such as age, race, body fat, blood pressure, diabetes and alcohol consumption, current smokers had thicker heart walls and reduced pumping function than nonsmokers and former smokers, the study showed. The study was published Sept. 13 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. It's long been known that smoking is linked with heart failure, even in people without heart disease. But, health ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicorette DS, Left Ventriculography, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief

Diabetes Drug Victoza Might Not Help Advanced Heart Failure Patients

Posted 2 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 2, 2016 – The diabetes drug liraglutide (Victoza) doesn't appear to improve heart function in patients with advanced heart failure, a new study finds. The theory for this trial was that this drug – from a class of medications called (GLP-1) agonists – might interact with the heart's GLP-1 receptors on cells and thereby improve heart function. "We were hoping for a benefit; we didn't see that. It's at best neutral," said lead researcher Dr. Kenneth Margulies. He's a professor of medicine and research director of heart failure and transplantation at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Previous studies found evidence that people with advanced heart failure have insulin resistance of their peripheral muscles and heart muscle, and "this was felt to be a detrimental feature that this type of diabetes medicine might help," he said. Not only did the drug not help, ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Victoza, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Insulin Resistance, Saxenda, Pre-Diabetes, Liraglutide, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diabetes Mellitus, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Left Ventriculography

Even Your Heart May Benefit From Extra Education

Posted 20 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2016 – While there are many obvious benefits to achieving a higher level of education, one you may not have considered is a boost to your heart health. New research suggests that heart attack survivors with higher levels of education appear less likely to develop heart failure. Heart failure is a serious complication of heart attack that significantly increases the risk of death, study author Gerhard Sulo said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. Sulo is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bergen in Norway. The study included more than 70,500 people in Norway, aged 35 to 85. All had been hospitalized with a first heart attack between 2001 and 2009. None had a history of heart failure at the start of the study. By the end of 2009, 18 percent of patients had been diagnosed with early onset heart failure, the findings showed. Compared to those with ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Left Ventriculography

Flu Shot Helps Heart Failure Patients Avoid Hospital

Posted 1 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 1, 2016 – Getting a flu shot reduces heart failure patients' risk of hospitalization, a new study shows. "Uptake of the flu vaccination in heart failure patients is relatively low, ranging from less than 20 percent in low and middle-income countries to 50 to 70 percent in high income countries like the U.K.," said study author Kazem Rahimi. He is deputy director of the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Oxford in England. "This may partly be because there is no strong evidence to support the recommendation in these patients," he said. Also, some research had suggested that vaccination might be less effective in heart failure patients than in the general population because of their blunted immune response, he added. Heart failure means the heart is no longer able to pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body's needs. It's one of the most common ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, FluLaval, Afluria, Fluzone, FluMist, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flucelvax, Influenza Prophylaxis, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, FluLaval Quadrivalent, Flushield, Afluria 2015-2016, Fluvirin Preservative-Free, Fluzone Intradermal, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Left Ventriculography

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