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Surge Shown In Heart Failure Hospitalizations

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, November 10, 2008 10:26 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Heart Failure, Heart Disease, Obesity, Diabetes, ACE Inhibitors, FDA and Prescription Drugs

Heart failure can follow a heart attack.

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 IMAGE SOURCE: © Wikimedia Commons/ diagram of a heart attack/ author: U.S. Govt.

 

During the last nearly three decades, the number of people over the age of 65 who are hospitalized with heart failure more than doubled, representing a mounting burden on the health care system.

Releasing findings at an American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans, Dr. Longjian Liu of Drexel University in Philadelphia urged preventive measures are needed immediately. The cost of this chronic and deadly condition is estimated to be $34.8 billion for the U.S. alone in direct and indirect costs.

Heart failure occurs when the heart gradually loses the ability to pump blood efficiently. Organs, starved for oxygen, gradually die.

Lifestyle factors can affect heart failure including smoking, a lack of exercise and a diet of fatty foods.  A stroke, heart attack, diabetes and high blood pressure also are risk factors. As diabetes and obesity have increased, so has heart failure, the researchers observe.

An estimated 5.3 million Americans have heart failure which Dr. Liu said disproportionately affects the elderly.

Looking at national hospital discharge data of 2.2 million patients between 1980 and 2006, he found the heart failure rate increased 131 percent.  There were 807,082 hospitalizations for heart failure in 2006 up from more than 348,000.

The increase in hospitalizations has been more dramatic among women than men.  And hospitalizations for heart failure are longer and can involve other organ failures which increase the burden on cost.   

At the same time, hospitalization rates from coronary artery disease and stroke have fallen.

Prevention is crucial, researchers conclude.

Drug therapy includes ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor inhibitors. They dilate the arteries and veins allowing for a more easy transfer of pumped blood.  Beta blockers slow the heart rate and control blood pressure and diuretics reduce swelling.  

In addition, a pacemaker is sometimes used to keep both chambers of the heart pumping in sync.  

More than five million Americans are living with heart failure and more than 500,000 cases are diagnosed each year.  #


4 Comments

Posted by russ rodriguez
Monday, November 10, 2008 1:23 PM EST

There are very exciting changes afoot with the Wellness Industry offering preventative approaches to cardiovascular disease. For example, in addition to prescribing statin drugs to high risk patients years ahead of their health train wrecks. Another exciting development comes from the Monavie Corporation, who recently released their Pulse product. Pulse is a proprietary Juice blend containing Plant Sterols, which is an FDA approved ingredient that is more attractive to the body than Cholesterol, and so the body absorbs these instead of cholesterol.

Posted by Carrie Tucker
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:02 PM EST

Wow, lots of misinformation here. Please be aware that all of the drugs you mentioned above have dangerous side effects and that alternatives exist.

Posted by Carrie Tucker
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:05 PM EST

Statin drugs cause dangerous CoQ10 deficiencies that CONTRIBUTE to heart failure! The massive amount of these drugs being prescribed are one on the reasons for the alarming rise in heart failure. Great profit for the drug companies, while they send people to their graves prematurely.

Jane Akre Injury Board Community Member
Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:46 AM EST

Carrie-

IB couildn't agree with you more that there are LOTS of side effects from drugs and when possible it's better to take control of your own health, listen to others and see what works for them and avoid medications IF you can.

Some folks simply don't feel that way or they have a problem that is not addressed by lifestyle.

But yes, each of us is responsible for our own health. Do it now or later, when it may be a bit too late.

Just my personal opinion as your editor- in case you have the wrong impression that we favor medication over health.

thanks!!
ja

Comments for this article are closed.

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