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Heart Failure Protein May Signal Early Brain Damage

Posted 2 days 11 hours ago 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, Zestoretic, Lanoxin, Prinivil, Digitek, Prinzide, Qbrelis, Digox, 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, Prinivil, Hydrochlorothiazide/Losartan, 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, Nicotrol TD, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Left Ventriculography, Nicotrol NS, ProStep

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, FluMist, Fluzone, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flucelvax, Influenza Prophylaxis, Influenza with Pneumonia, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluzone PFS, Flublok, Fluarix, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone SV, Flublok 2015-2016

Message for Heart Failure Patients: Exercise

Posted 26 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 26, 2016 – Physical activity may help extend survival for patients with heart failure, a new review suggests. "Patients with heart failure should not be scared of exercise damaging them or killing them," said principal investigator Rod Taylor, director of the Exeter Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Exeter Medical School, in England. "The message for heart failure patients is clear. Exercise is good for you, it will make you feel better, and it could potentially make you live longer," Taylor said in a European Society of Cardiology news release. The findings stem from an analysis of 20 trials involving more than 4,000 people with heart failure. Overall, exercise was associated with an 18 percent lower risk of death from all causes and an 11 percent lower risk of hospitalization, compared to not exercising, the researchers said. While they can't prove a direct ... Read more

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

Updated Heart Failure Treatment Guidelines Issued

Posted 21 May 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 – An updated guideline adds two new types of drugs to the list of treatment options for heart failure. In people with the condition, the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body. The two new treatments in the updated guidelines are an angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor (valsartan/sacubitril), sold as Entresto, and a sinoatrial node modulator (ivabradine), sold as Corlanor, according to the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America. Previously recommended drugs for these patients include angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta blockers and diuretics. "Treatment options for patients with heart failure have expanded considerably. There is more hope than ever before for patients with heart failure," guideline update committee vice chair Dr. ... Read more

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

Heart Failure Risk Seems to Rise in Winter

Posted 7 May 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 6, 2016 – When there's a real chill in the air, your risk of being hospitalized for heart failure rises, a new study suggests. Cold weather also seems to boost the risk of hospitalization for both heart failure and atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by an irregular heart rhythm. "In the past, seasonal differences have been noted for heart attacks and strokes," said study co-author Dr. Abhishek Deshmukh, a cardiac electrophysiologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "We looked at seasonal differences in patients getting hospitalized for heart failure and atrial fibrillation from a large national hospitalizations database," he added. "We found that during cooler months, especially in February, the rates of hospitalizations are the highest. "It is striking that people get more sick with cardiac diseases during cooler months," Deshmukh said. "Whether it is ... Read more

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

Race May Influence Risk for Irregular Heart Beat

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 5, 2016 – There's a strong link between the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation and race, a new study says. Whites with heart failure are much more likely to have atrial fibrillation (AF) than blacks or Hispanics with heart failure, the study authors said. Heart failure is a common risk factor for atrial fibrillation. Heart failure affects 5.8 million people in the United States and more than 23 million worldwide, the researchers said. The researchers reviewed information from more than 68,000 Americans with heart failure. They were between ages 45 and 95. The group included more than 28,000 Hispanics, more than 25,000 blacks and more than 14,000 whites. The risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) was about 23 percent lower in blacks than whites. The odds were nearly 27 percent lower in Hispanics than whites, the researchers found. The study was presented Wednesday at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Left Ventriculography

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