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Undiagnosed Heart Condition 'AFib' May Be Common, Study Suggests

Posted 26 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Aug. 26, 2017 – Many people at risk for atrial fibrillation probably do have the irregular heart rhythm but have not been diagnosed, a new study reports. Nearly 1 out of 3 patients in the study had undetected atrial fibrillation that was caught only through the use of long-term cardiac monitor implants, researchers say. Based on these results, it's likely there's probably a lot more undetected atrial fibrillation among seniors, said lead researcher Dr. James Reiffel. He's a cardiologist and professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. "Continuous monitoring of such patients, as we did, can detect otherwise unsuspected AF, which can lead to treatment before complications arise," Reiffel said. "When monitored for 18 months, almost one in three patients had AF detected, as did 40 percent by 30 months." Atrial fibrillation involves ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran

Nurses Learn How to Get Patients to Say 'Yes' to Blood Thinners

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – Online training for nurses increased hospital patients' use of medication that can prevent potentially deadly blood clots, a new study reveals. Nurses sometimes won't give the blood thinning drugs if patients don't want them. So researchers developed the training to teach nurses how to respond when patients say they don't want to take blood thinners. The study included more than 900 nurses at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. After the online training, the number of patients who refused to take prescribed blood thinners dropped from 12.4 percent to 11.1 percent, the findings showed. "We teach in hopes of improving patient care, but there's actually very little evidence that online professional education can have a measurable impact. Our results show that it does," study senior author Dr. Elliott Haut said in a Johns Hopkins news release. Haut is vice chair ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Fondaparinux

Kidney Disease May Boost Risk of Abnormal Heartbeat

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – People with failing kidneys are at increased risk of developing a life-threatening abnormal heart rhythm, a new report suggests. Chronic kidney disease can as much as double a patient's risk of atrial fibrillation, a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke or heart failure, said lead researcher Dr. Nisha Bansal. She is an associate professor of nephrology at the University of Washington's Kidney Research Institute, in Seattle. The risk of atrial fibrillation increases as kidney function declines, Bansal said. "We saw the worse your kidney function, the greater your risk of developing atrial fibrillation. Even mild changes in kidney function were strongly linked to atrial fibrillation," Bansal noted. The study included data gathered from three separate research projects focused on heart health in the United States. The three projects created a ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Renal Failure, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Kidney Disease, Peritoneal dialysis, Renal Osteodystrophy, Hyperphosphatemia of Renal Failure

Working Too Much Might Tip Heart Into Irregular Rhythm

Posted 14 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – Working long hours might do more than exhaust you – it could also raise your risk of a common and potentially dangerous heart rhythm disorder, a new British study finds. "These findings show that long working hours are associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia," said study leader Mika Kivimaki, a professor of epidemiology at University College London. Because atrial fibrillation has long been a known risk factor for stroke, "this could be one of the mechanisms that explain the previously observed increased risk of stroke among those working long hours," Kivimaki said in a news release from the European Heart Journal. His team published their findings in the journal on July 14. One cardiologist in the United States said that because the study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, its results "need to be interpreted ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Ischemic Stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lewy Body Dementia

Early Care by Cardiologist May Lower Stroke Risk for A-Fib Patients

Posted 26 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – Patients with a common heart rhythm disorder who receive a cardiologist's care soon after diagnosis are less likely to suffer a stroke, a new study finds. Atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, is an irregular, often rapid heart rate that increases the risk of stroke and other complications. It affects between 3 million and 5 million Americans. Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine analyzed data on more than 184,000 people diagnosed with atrial fibrillation between 2004 and 2012. Within 90 days of diagnosis, 40 percent were cared for by a cardiologist and 60 percent by a primary care doctor only. Patients seen by cardiologists had a 9 percent lower risk of stroke and an 11 percent lower risk of early death, the study found. The lower stroke risk probably resulted from a higher rate of prescriptions for blood-thinning drugs that prevent blood clots, ... Read more

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

FDA Medwatch Alert: Eliquis (apixaban) 5 mg tablets: Recall One Lot- Bottle labeled as Eliquis 5 mg was found to contain Eliquis 2.5 mg tablets

Posted 13 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company is voluntarily recalling one lot (#HN0063) of Eliquis 5 mg tablets to the consumer level. This lot was distributed nationwide in the U.S. to wholesalers and retail pharmacies in February 2017. Bristol-Myers Squibb is taking this precautionary measure based on a customer complaint that a bottle labeled as Eliquis 5 mg was found to contain Eliquis 2.5 mg tablets. BACKGROUND: Eliquis tablets are indicated to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have atrial fibrillation; it also treats blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs as well as reduces the risk of forming a blood clot in the legs and lungs of people who have just had hip or knee replacement surgery. RECOMMENDATION: Patients should not stop taking Eliquis without consulting with their physician. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have ... Read more

Related support groups: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Eliquis, Pulmonary Embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Apixaban, Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Knee Replacement Surgery, Deep Vein Thrombosis - Prophylaxis, Venous Thromboembolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis after Hip Replacement Surgery

Snake Venom May One Day Help Heart Patients

Posted 8 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 8, 2017 – Scary pit vipers may need an image upgrade: Their venom might end up helping human heart patients, research suggests. Taiwanese scientists say a blood thinner drug based on venom from the Wagler's pit viper was effective in mice, and might prove safer than current anti-clotting meds for humans one day. The serpent-medicine connection isn't new, one cardiologist noted, since venom typically kills by disrupting the blood's clotting mechanisms. "Blood thinner medications have a long and storied history with snake venom," said Dr Satjit Bhysri, a heart specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In fact, "many current blood thinners are based on initial experiments from proteins found in snake venom," he added. In the new study, a team led by Tur-Fu Huang, a pharmacology researcher at National Taiwan University, focused on the venom of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders

Are Many A-Fib Patients Getting Wrong Doses?

Posted 5 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 – Nearly one in six Americans who takes newer blood thinners for the heart rhythm problem atrial fibrillation may not receive the proper dose, a new study suggests. A-fib is a common condition, marked by an irregular and often rapid heart beat. It's associated with a fivefold increased risk of stroke, but blood thinners reduce that risk. Many a-fib patients also have kidney disease and need a lower medication dose than others, the study authors said. "Dosing errors of these blood-thinning medications in patients with atrial fibrillation are common and have concerning adverse outcomes," said lead author Xiaoxi Yao, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Moreover, "the number of patients using these drugs has quickly increased since the introduction of this new class of drugs in 2010," Yao said in a Mayo news release. The researchers looked at nearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Renal Failure, Eliquis, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Chronic Kidney Disease, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Arixtra, Jantoven, Dabigatran, Fondaparinux, Savaysa, Edoxaban, Arixtra 5 mg/dose, Dicumarol

Sleep Apnea May Boost Odds of Irregular Heartbeat

Posted 23 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 23, 2017 – People with sleep apnea may be more likely to develop the abnormal heart rhythm atrial fibrillation, especially if the oxygen level in their blood drops below normal, Canadian researchers report. Sleep apnea, which obstructs breathing, causes people to wake many times during the night to start breathing again. It's possible, researchers said, that disrupted sleep along with a drop in the level of oxygen in the blood might lead to atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat. This can lead to stroke and heart problems. "Patients who are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea should undergo testing, particularly if they have other cardiac risk factors," said study senior researcher Dr. Richard Leung, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. "Therapy should be strongly considered for patients who have ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Atrial Fibrillation, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Insulin Resistance, Sleep Apnea, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Better Treatment Might Prevent Hundreds of Thousands of Strokes

Posted 15 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 15, 2017 – Hundreds of thousands of strokes might be prevented in the United States each year if more people with a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation took blood-thinning medications, a new study estimates. Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to quiver instead of beating normally. This causes blood to pool and possibly clot, according to the American Heart Association. If one of those clots breaks free, it can go to the brain and cause a stroke. "Though not a life-threatening rhythm abnormality per se, atrial fibrillation can be associated with devastating life-altering consequences, namely disabling stroke," said one expert, Dr. Nicholas Skipitaris. He directs cardiac electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Unfortunately, too few people are getting the treatment for "a-fib" that they need, the new study found. Taking blood thinners might ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Lovenox, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Arixtra, Hep-Pak, Dabigatran

Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Posted 14 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – Blood thinners are often prescribed to prevent strokes in people with the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation. But a new study suggests these drugs may also help keep dementia at bay. The researchers said that the key is to start blood thinners, such as warfarin, soon after atrial fibrillation is diagnosed. That's true even for people at low risk of a stroke who wouldn't normally be given blood thinners. "We found that people who are on warfarin – the most common blood thinner used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation – experienced very low rates of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease," said lead researcher Dr. T. Jared Bunch. He's director of heart rhythm research at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah. Atrial fibrillation is a common heart abnormality that affects nearly 3 million American adults. ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Ischemic Stroke, Xarelto, Dementia, Eliquis, Alzheimer's Disease, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Rivaroxaban, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Ecotrin

Heart Devices 101: Guide to the Tools That Keep You Ticking

Posted 3 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 2, 2017 – Pacemakers, defibrillators and other medical devices have saved the lives of millions of people worldwide. Someone you know probably has received one of these heart-health enhancers, although not all have become household words. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration evaluates and regulates these and other medical devices in the United States. Below, the agency provides a brief glossary of terms that might come in handy when a doctor recommends a cardiac tool: Heart pacemakers: These small, battery-powered devices are implanted in the body. They deliver an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too slowly. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators: These deliver a shock to restore normal heart rhythm when the heart beats too fast. Automated external defibrillators: These portable, automatic devices are found in many public locations. ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Arrhythmia, Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina, Tachyarrhythmia, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Prosthetic Heart Valves, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Myocardial Infarction, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prosthetic Heart Valves - Mechanical Valves, Atrial Flutter, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Mitral Insufficiency

Pradaxa Beats Warfarin After Heart Rhythm Procedure: Study

Posted 20 Mar 2017 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, Dabigatran, Jantoven, Reversal of Dabigatran

Are Blood Thinners Overused in Patients With Irregular Heartbeat?

Posted 17 Mar 2017 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, Clopidogrel, Excedrin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula

Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

Posted 14 Mar 2017 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

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