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Black Women Face Double the Risk of Pregnancy-Related Heart Failure

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Black American women are twice as likely as women in other racial/ethnic groups to develop a form of pregnancy-related heart failure, a new study finds. Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in the last month of pregnancy or up to five months following delivery. With this disorder the heart chambers enlarge and heart muscle weakens, leading to reduced blood flow that affects the lungs, liver and other organs. Researchers analyzed the medical records of 220 women diagnosed with PPCM. Black women with PPCM were younger (age 27 vs. 31), had more severe disease, and took longer to recover than white, Hispanic or Asian women. "Not only are African-American women at twice the risk, but in this study we found they also took twice as long to recover, they were twice as likely to worsen before getting better after ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Left Ventriculography

Can Babies Help Heart Patients?

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – Instead of throwing away the umbilical cord after birth, new research suggests using this medical waste to potentially improve the lives of people with heart failure. With parental permission, doctors used umbilical cords to harvest stem cells that were then injected into people with heart failure. People who received those injections were monitored for a year, and were found to have an increase in heart muscle function. Study volunteers also reported positive changes in their day-to-day lives, regaining the ability to do things such as drive a car. "Their quality of life really improved," said study author Dr. Fernando Figueroa. He's a professor and program director in translational research in cell therapy at the University of the Andes School of Medicine in Chile. "A physician in Chile wrote us a very funny email after his infusion, saying how he felt ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Stem Cell Transplant Conditioning, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Left Ventriculography

Early Onset of Pregnancy Complication May Raise Heart Risks

Posted 15 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – Women who develop pre-eclampsia earlier in pregnancy may be at increased risk for heart problems soon after giving birth, a new study finds. "These women should be screened for major cardiovascular risk factors and prevention strategies should be implemented as soon as possible," said study author Dr. GianLuca Colussi. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Udine in Italy. Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous increase in blood pressure that occurs in the second half of pregnancy. Researchers assessed heart structure and function in 65 women one month after they gave birth. None had high blood pressure before pregnancy, but developed pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Thirty-seven percent of them had early onset pre-eclampsia – before the 34th week of pregnancy, the study authors said. The study also included 16 nonpregnant women with high blood ... Read more

Related support groups: Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Toxemia of pregnancy, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, HELLP Syndrome, Left Ventriculography

High Salt Intake May Double Heart Failure Risk

Posted 28 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 28, 2017 – A high-salt diet significantly increases the risk for heart failure. That's the conclusion of Finnish researchers who found that people who consume more than 13,700 milligrams of salt a day – about 2.5 teaspoons – had double the risk for heart failure than low-salt consumers. "High salt [sodium chloride] intake is one of the major causes of high blood pressure and an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke," said researcher Pekka Jousilahti. "The heart does not like salt," said Jousilahti, a research professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki. "High salt intake markedly increases the risk of heart failure," he added in a news release from the European Society of Cardiology. In addition to coronary heart disease and stroke, heart failure is a major cardiovascular disease globally, but the role of high salt ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Sodium Chloride, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, HalfLytely and Bisacodyl, Rhinaris, Hyper-Sal, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride, Ayr Saline Nasal, Thermotabs, ENTsol, Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride, Saline Nasal Mist, Simply Soothing, Normal Saline Flush, Nasal Saline, Ocean Complete, Humist

Aspirin Safe for Heart Failure Patients, Study Finds

Posted 31 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 – Some research has raised concerns about the safety of aspirin for heart failure patients. But a new study appears to offer some reassurance. The study, of over 2,300 patients, found that those on daily aspirin were not at heightened risk of being hospitalized for, or dying from, heart failure. That has been a concern because, in theory, aspirin could interfere with the benefits of certain heart failure drugs, explained Dr. Shunichi Homma, the senior researcher on the study. Plus, two past studies have linked aspirin use to an increased risk of heart failure complications. But the new study, which compared aspirin to warfarin, a blood thinner, was larger and longer-term – following patients in 168 centers in 11 countries over 10 years. "I think this should allay fears that there might be a detrimental effect of prescribing aspirin," said Homma. He is deputy ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Aspirin, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Ramipril, Excedrin, Cozaar, Valsartan, Enalapril, Micardis, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan, Alka-Seltzer, Aggrenox, Perindopril

As Your Weight Creeps Up, So Does Your Risk of Heart Failure

Posted 19 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Gaining even a little weight can increase your chances of developing heart failure, a new study finds. Adding pounds can change the structure of your heart and its ability to pump blood. But losing weight can reverse this potentially deadly process, the researchers said. "People who gain weight, even as little as 5 percent, are more likely to have thickening of the left side of their heart, which is a well-established indicator of heart failure," said lead researcher Dr. Ian Neeland. These people "were also more likely to have decreases in their heart's pumping ability," Neeland said. He is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. People who lose weight actually improve their hearts by decreasing the thickness of the heart muscle, and that probably lowers their risk for heart failure, he ... Read more

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

Fewer Heart Failure Patients Dying of Cardiac Arrest

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – Heart failure patients are much less likely now to die from sudden cardiac arrest, new research shows. Rates of sudden death from heart failure have declined by nearly half over the past two decades, according to data gathered from a dozen separate clinical trials. Better heart medications used in effective combinations are extending the lives of people with heart failure, said senior study author Dr. John McMurray, a professor of cardiology with the University of Glasgow in Scotland. "Patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction certainly are living longer, and I think are also living better," McMurray said. "Modern pharmacological and device therapy is very effective, and we are now fairly commonly seeing patients with substantial or even complete recovery of their heart muscle dysfunction." In fact, medicines have become so effective that many ... Read more

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

Fewer Americans Hospitalized for Heart Failure

Posted 27 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 27, 2017 – The number of Americans hospitalized for heart failure has dropped substantially since 2002, but blacks still face higher risks, a new study finds. Between 2002 and 2013, heart failure hospitalizations fell by 30 percent nationwide, the study found. At the same time, disparities between whites and Hispanics closed. By 2013, the hospitalization rate for Hispanic adults was just 6 percent higher than for whites – down from a 45 percent difference in 2002. On the other hand, hospitalizations for heart failure remained stubbornly high among black Americans. Over 5 million Americans have heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. It's a chronic disease in which the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently enough to meet the body's needs. As a result, people with the condition often become fatigued and breathless, and they may develop swelling in ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertensive Emergency, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease, Left Ventriculography

Childhood Poverty May Predict Heart Failure in Adulthood

Posted 26 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Growing up poor might put you at risk for heart failure in adulthood, a new study suggests. Heart failure, a progressive condition, means the heart isn't pumping as well as it should. This causes fatigue and shortness of breath, and can make everyday activities difficult to carry out. Finnish researchers looked at household income for hundreds of children in 1980. The findings showed that kids from poor families were more likely than richer children to have an enlarged, poorly functioning lower left heart chamber – a sign of heart failure – three decades later. The results aren't surprising, health experts say. "There are continuing socioeconomic inequalities in health across generations and across countries," said Rebecca Hardy, from the Institute of Epidemiology and Health at University College London in England. Hardy, who is with the Lifelong Health and ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Fatigue, Losartan, Benicar, Diovan, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Ramipril, Dyspnea, Cozaar, Valsartan, Enalapril, Micardis, Benazepril, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan, Perindopril, Candesartan, Left Ventricular Dysfunction

Increasing Numbers of Pregnant Women Also Have Heart Disease

Posted 22 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – Many more American women with heart disease are choosing to have babies, a new study finds. Researchers looked at more than 81,000 women with heart disease from 2003 to 2012. They found that the proportion who had babies rose 24 percent during that time. "We learned that in addition to the high and growing prevalence of women with heart disease delivering babies, the reasons are mainly related to increases in women delivering babies with diseases such as cardiomyopathy, adult congenital heart disease, and pulmonary hypertension," study author Dr. Kathleen Stergiopoulos said in a Stony Brook University news release. She is a specialist in heart disease in women at the Stony Brook Heart Institute. The researchers also found that major heart problems, such as heart failure and heart rhythm problems, in pregnant women with heart disease increased by nearly 19 ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Pulmonary Hypertension, Cardiomyopathy, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis, Cardiomyopathy Prophylaxis, Broken Heart Syndrome, Left Ventriculography

Iron Pills No Help for Certain Type of Heart Failure

Posted 16 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 16, 2017 – High-dose iron pills don't improve the exercise capacity of iron-deficient patients with a certain type of heart failure, a new study finds. Iron deficiency affects about half of heart failure patients with what's called reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (HFrEF). This refers to how well the heart's left ventricle pumps with each contraction. This iron shortage is associated with reduced physical functioning, poorer quality of life, and increased risk of death. The new study included 225 such patients who received either high-dose iron pills (150 milligrams) or a placebo, twice daily for 16 weeks. Exercise capacity was assessed by how far patients could walk in six minutes. After four months, those who took the iron pills did not have higher peak oxygen uptake or greater exercise capacity than those who took the placebo, according to the study. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Lydia E. Pinkham, Fer-Iron, Left Ventriculography, Feosol Original, Vitelle Irospan, Iron Sulfate, Ferrousal, Ascorbic Acid/Ferrous Sulfate, Fero-Grad-500, Docusate/iron/multivitamin, Ferrous Sulfate/Folic Acid, Slow Fe with Folic Acid

Timing of Menopause May Affect Heart Failure Risk

Posted 15 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – Women who entered menopause early or who never gave birth might have an increased risk of heart failure, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed data from more than 28,000 postmenopausal women who did not have heart disease at the start of the study. During an average follow-up of about 13 years, just over 5 percent of the women were hospitalized for heart failure. Menopause usually occurs after age 45, but changes can start several years before a woman's periods end. In the study, earlier menopause was associated with increased risk of heart failure, and this link was stronger in women who had natural rather than surgical menopause. But the researchers did not establish a cause-and-effect link. Also, women who never gave birth seemed at increased risk for a type of heart failure in which the left side of the heart fails to relax as it should. This association ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Vaginal Dryness, Premenopausal Anovulation, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Left Ventriculography

Heart Failure Patients Do Better When Sticking With Same Hospital

Posted 10 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Heart failure patients who are readmitted to the same hospital after their initial treatment are more likely to survive and go home sooner, new Canadian research suggests. Speedy treatment is critical for sudden events – such as heart attack or stroke – which explains why ambulance policies usually require patients to be taken to the closest treatment center even if they were just released from another hospital. "This makes sense in time-sensitive acute conditions where delays in initial treatment are associated with poorer outcomes – thus the adage 'time is muscle' for heart attacks and 'time is brain' for strokes," said study leader Dr. Finlay McAlister. He is a professor of general internal medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. But, "heart failure is a chronic condition and continuity of care seems to be more important," McAlister noted in a ... Read more

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

Pump Implants May Rejuvenate Heart Failure Patients

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Implanted pumps may be more than a "bridge" to a heart transplant – they might also restore healthy heart function for some heart failure patients, a new British study suggests. As the researchers explained, these battery-operated left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are often used to support patients with severe heart failure while they await a heart transplant. But this new clinical trial is the first to show that an LVAD, combined with medication, can restore heart function completely, researchers said. "We talk about these devices as a bridge-to-transplant, something which can keep a patient alive until a heart is available for transplantation," said study lead author Djordje Jakovljevic. "However, we knew that sometimes patients recover to such an extent that they no longer need a heart transplant," noted Jakovljevic, a senior research fellow in ... Read more

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

Can Stem Cell 'Patch' Help Heart Failure?

Posted 5 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 5, 2017 – Scientists report another step in the use of stem cells to help treat people with debilitating heart failure. In an early study of 27 patients, Japanese researchers used patients' own muscle stem cells to create a "patch" that was placed on the heart. Over the next year, the patients generally showed small improvements in their symptoms – including the ability to walk without becoming breathless and fatigued. However, experts cautioned that while the results are encouraging, there's a lot of work left ahead before stem cells can be used to treat heart failure. "They've shown that this approach is feasible," said Dr. Eiran Gorodeski, a heart failure specialist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. But it's not clear whether the stem-cell tactic was actually effective, said Gorodeski, who was not involved in the study. That's because the study didn't include a ... Read more

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

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