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Heart Failure

 - ecg, heart, electrophysiology

While guidelines warn against giving anticoagulation to patients with heart failure but without atrial fibrillation, there may be some evidence that a subgroup of these patients may be at increased risk for stroke and could benefit from additional therapy.

 - Elderly Patient

Patients aren’t the only ones impacted by destination therapy left ventricle assist device (LVAD) implants. Caregivers should be part of decision-making and they need support and tools to help them process the change, according to a study.

 - heart puzzle

Despite growing waiting lists and national efforts to increase the use of available donor organs, the rate of hearts accepted for transplantation has decreased significantly since 1995, a study found.

 - IV, intravenous, saline

Early care with intravenous (IV) fluid is not recommended by guidelines for patients with acute decompensated heart failure. However, 11 percent of patients in a study published Feb. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure received IV fluid and diuretics in the first two days of hospitalization. 

 - Doctor and older patient

Putting a stop to boomerang heart failure readmissions may require a sympathetic ear in the emergency department (ED). One pilot test has shown that it is possible to identify patients’ barriers to self-care, even in a busy ED setting.


More Stories

Super Bowl super bad for intemperate fans with heart failure

Call it Monday morning quarterbacking, but with the chance to actually change the game. Based on one study, hospitals likely will see in uptick in heart failure admissions after Super Bowl Sunday—but cardiologists still have time to coach their patients to play it smart.

LVAD, healer of broken hearts? Heart failure biomarkers suggest yes

A look into cardiomyocytes and DNA damage response may offer new hope for patients with heart failure. Long-term use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) may encourage the heart to repair itself at a cellular level.

Something to toast: Moderate drinking may reduce risk for heart failure

A little nip may not hurt the heart. Secondary analysis of Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities data found moderate drinkers had lower risk for cardiovascular events than those who had more to drink or abstained. Findings were similar for both men and women.

Salt shakes its bad rap for upping risk of death, heart diseases

Take it with a grain of salt: In older adults, self-reported sodium intake was not associated with risk for cardiovascular disease, heart failure and mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Heart failure discharge summaries miss mark

With Medicare penalties now at 3 percent for 30-day heart failure readmissions, many hospitals are eager to find opportunities to improve outcomes. Based on a study published online Jan. 13, discharge summaries might fit the bill.

Quality of life for heart failure patients may start with accepting illness

The ability to function with heart failure and a patient’s acceptance of his or her condition may go hand in hand. A Polish study used illness acceptance screening to reveal patterns in patient responses to quality of life surveys.

Heart failure blood sugar levels at ED intake predict risks for death, hospitalization

Patients who arrived at the emergency department with acute heart failure syndromes and mildly elevated blood glucose levels may be at increased risk for death or hospitalization within the first 30 days, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the European Heart Journal.

Heart failure combo drug keeps deterioration at bay

PARADIGM-HF already underscored the mortality benefit of a new combo drug for patients with chronic heart failure. Now a study that looked into clinical outcomes gave it high scores for halting the progression of heart failure in survivors.

Obese heart failure patients outlive leaner cohorts in population study

Continuing the debate over the so-called “obesity paradox,” more obese and overweight patients may develop heart failure, but fewer die from it than lean counterparts, according to a study published in the Dec. 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

FDA clears way for two quadripolar leads

The FDA approved two quadripolar leads for use in cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators for patients with heart failure.

Scorpion’s sting may hold clue for managing heart failure

It was only a pilot study, and only in mice, and it requires harvesting venom from scorpions—no easy task. But a first report on a venom-based peptide points to a new compound for treating patients with acute heart failure.

Review gives CRT with defibrillators, pacemakers high marks

Cardiac resynchronization with defibrillators (CRT-D) or pacemakers (CRT-P) fared well in an assessment of their benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. The document will remain available for review and comment through Dec. 15.

More than gut instinct: Bacteria byproduct ups mortality risk in heart failure patients

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.

Long-term use of erectile dysfunction drugs may benefit heart

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.

CPAP reduces heart failure readmission, hospital costs

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.

Patient decision-making tools for LVADs found to be inadequate

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.

Risk model predicts 30-day readmission for heart failure

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.

Calcium-channel blockers & heart failure: No harm, no benefit

Heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction using calcium-channel blockers were no worse for taking them. But, they also didn’t experience much benefit either, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

Report puts heart failure drug market at $8.9B by 2023

The market for pharmaceuticals to treat chronic heart failure could climb to nearly $9 billion over the next decade, one market research report estimated.

Playtime reduces heart failure risk

Thanks to a Swedish study, we can add one more benefit to the list when talking about increasing down-time activity levels: reduced heart failure risks.