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Heart Failure


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?

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.


More Stories

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.

FDA OKs use of biventricular pacing for less severe HF

The FDA expanded the indication for biventricular pacing using two types of cardiac resynchronization therapy devices to treat patients with atrioventricular block and mild to moderate heart failure (HF).

Circ retracts paper by its editor-in-chief

The journal Circulation retracted a 2012 article in which its editor-in-chief is a senior author, citing compromised data.

FDA approves 3 pacemaker devices

The FDA approved three St. Jude Medical pacemaker devices, including its quadripolar cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker.

'Bendopnea' identified as a possible symptom of heart failure

Experiencing shortness of breath while bending forward, termed “bendopnea,” could be an indicator of heart failure, according to researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Review: Diabetes drug trials should add HF hospitalization as outcome

Trials of new glucose-lowering drugs should consider hospitalization for heart failure as an outcome, according to a Personal View article published online March 13 in The Lancet. The authors argued that heart failure has not received much attention as an outcome in clinical trials of these drugs, but results have associated them with an increased risk of heart failure.

ICD-CRT may lead to fewer hospitalizations than ICD alone

Patients with heart failure who receive therapy consisting of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) have fewer hospitalizations than heart failure patients with only an ICD. The findings, published online March 7 in Circulation, were based on data from the Resynchronization-Defibrillation for Ambulatory Heart Failure Trial (RAFT).

LVAD bleeding risk varies based on patient factors

An analysis of HeartMate II left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) published in the March 11 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that preoperative risk factors for bleeding and thrombotic events vary depending on patient demographics, including age, sex, body mass index and the cause of heart failure.

Saxagliptin’s heart failure finding prompts FDA review

The FDA is reviewing trial data for the diabetes drug saxagliptin after a published study found an increased rate of hospitalization for heart failure with treatment.

Serelaxin hits roadblock in Europe

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended that serelaxin not be approved as a treatment to relieve symptoms in patients with acute heart failure. The European committee’s decision could influence an FDA panel that will review the drug’s application in February.

Despite decline in use, rates of digoxin toxicity still high

Although clinicians use digoxin less frequently as newer, safer agents start taking its place, toxicity has not decreased, which suggests the need for better management and monitoring of the drug, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Circulation: Heart Failure.


Higher heart rates at discharge linked to readmissions, death

Heart failure patients who have higher heart rates at discharge may face a higher risk of dying or being readmitted within 30 days, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in Circulation: Heart Failure.