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Heart Failure

 - stomach pain

Physicians trying to get to the heart—and gut—of the relationship between heart failure and intestinal flora found that higher levels of microbe metabolites in the blood stream appeared to predict mortality risk. Heart failure patients stratified by levels of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) found in blood samples had progressively more risk for death by year five.

 - Pill Phone

For older male patients with heart failure and left ventricular hypertrophy, erectile dysfunction medications may protect the heart,  a meta-analysis published online Oct. 18 in BMC Medicine found. The researchers also reported that the drugs were safe and well tolerated.

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

Breathing through the night does heart patients a world of good: For patients with heart failure and sleep disordered breathing, 30-day readmission rates dropped to zero when using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) adequately.

 - Decision

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) decision-making tools for heart failure patients are inadequate, according to research published online Oct. 14 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Few reviewed materials mentioned risks, although all discussed benefits.

 - heart puzzle

Where a patient lives, his or her race, discharge blood values and previous hospitalization record were among variables that most predicted 30-day heart failure readmission risk, a Boston research group found. The model they developed, simplified from a list of 25 variables, had high accuracy compared with commonly used standards.


More Stories

Medtronic set to launch CRT-pacemaker

The FDA approved a cardiac resynchronization therapy-pacemaker (CRT-P) for patients with heart failure or atrioventricular block.

1 in 3 heart failure patients will revisit ED frequently

Almost one-third of patients who visit the emergency department for acute heart failure will return two or more times within a year, results published online Aug. 19 showed. Could readmissions penalties exacerbate the problem?

Telemonitoring gets to heart failure patients IN-TIME

The IN-TIME study showed an improvement in clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure who were telemonitored, according to results published online Aug. 16 in The Lancet.

One-year cutoff for biopsies after heart transplants saves $22.5M

Physicians monitoring heart transplant patients rely on frequent endomyocardial biopsies to detect nonsymptomatic rejection. But for how long? One year may be sufficient, a cost-effectiveness analysis concluded. 

FDA OKs quadripolar lead, 2 CRT-Ds

The FDA approved a quadripolar lead and two cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) devices for treatment in patients with heart failure.

It’s local: Heart failure outcomes linked to neighborhood

Neighborhood effects may have an influence on readmissions in patients with heart failure. Whether or not patients themselves have a higher socioeconomic status, where they live may play a role in their post-release outcomes, according to a study published online July 29 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

Sitagliptin in diabetic HF patients: Less mortality, more HF hospitalizations

In diabetic patients with heart failure (HF), sitagliptin use was found to have lower mortality rates but more subsequent HF hospitalizations than other therapies. Researchers noted there was no increased risk of all-cause hospitalizations, however.

Thoratec buys maker of transapical systems for $35M

Thoratec, which makes implantable devices for patients with advanced heart failure, paid $35 million to acquire an Irish company that specializes in transapical surgical access systems.

Diabetes & heart failure: A delicate balancing act

Diabetes and heart failure have a very complex relationship. Having one puts a patient at risk for the other and once a patient has both, his or her condition may spiral quickly in a downward trajectory. In a viewpoint published June 18 in JAMA, physicians discussed concerns and the current state of therapies focused on caring for both diseases.

CRT benefits women with left bundle branch block more than men

Women with QRS of 130 milliseconds or greater see better outcomes than men when using cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). A study published online June 23 in JAMA Internal Medicine found that while women receive CRT defibrillation (CRT-D) less often than men, women with left bundle branch block and a QRS of 130 to 149 milliseconds had a 76 percent reduction in mortality and other heart failure-related events.

Transitional care for heart failure doesn’t dent 30-day readmissions

Use of home visits and multidisciplinary clinics helped to reduce all-cause readmissions and death up to six months after an index hospitalization for patients with heart failure, while telephone-based interventions also showed some success, according to a review of transitional care trials. But none seemed to lower 30-day readmission rates.

ICD use improves survival in less severe heart failure patients

Heart failure patients with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) between 30 and 35 percent do better with an implantable cardioverter-defibrilators (ICD) than without, a study published June 4 in JAMA confirmed. The findings also support guideline recommendations for use of ICDs in patients with LVEF of less than 30.

Severe heart failure may put patients at risk for diabetes

Patients receiving an increased loop-diuretic dose rate of heart failure drugs may have a greater risk of developing diabetes.

CardioMEMS gets FDA approval and buyout offer

Persistence paid off for CardioMEMS, maker of a miniaturized implantable system for monitoring patients with heart failure. After several years, the company received FDA approval for its namesake device, which has opened the doors for its acquisition by St. Jude Medical.

HF patients change resuscitation preferences near end of life

Many heart failure (HF) patients change their final resuscitation decisions close to the end of life, often while in the hospital. The findings may help cardiologists better counsel these patients. 

FDA says ‘no’ to serelaxin for heart failure

The FDA followed the lead of its counterpart in Europe by rejecting a bid from Novartis to approve serelaxin as a treatment for acute heart failure. The FDA stated that it needed more proof of the drug’s efficacy.

HeartWare: Monitor VAD batteries

Heartware International has issued back-to-back warnings about its ventricular assist device (VAD), with the most recent notice involving batteries in the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System.

FDA puts Class I recall on HeartWare device

The FDA issued a Class I recall for the HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device due to a manufacturing flaw.

Heart failure stands out for costly readmissions

Congestive heart failure topped the list for 30-day readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries in 2011 and ranked among the top 10 high-volume conditions for two other payer categories in an analysis released in April.

FDA gives thumbs up to mini ICDs

The FDA approved the latest generation of Boston Scientific’s implantable cardiac devices.