The antibiotic clarithromycin is commonly used to treat lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia and sudden worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Previous research has suggested that the use of clarithromycin may increase the risk of heart problems such as heart failure, heart rhythm disorders and sudden cardiac death.
In this study, researchers from the UK looked at data from about 1,300 patients with sudden worsening of COPD and about 1,600 patients with pneumonia. They found that 26% of the COPD patients who received clarithromycin experienced at least one heart problem over the next year, compared with 18% of those who were not given the antibiotic.
12% of pneumonia patients who received clarithromycin experienced at least one heart problem during the next year, compared with 7% of those who were not given the antibiotic, according to the study by James Chalmers of the University of Dundee, in Scotland.
The findings were published online on March 21 2013 in the journal BMJ.
In COPD patients, there was a significant association between the use of clarithromycin and death from heart-related problems. This association was not seen in pneumonia patients, according to a journal news release. The longer patients with COPD or pneumonia used clarithromycin, the greater their risk of more heart problems. This was not the case with other antibiotics, which suggests an effect specific to clarithromycin, according to the study authors.
Overall, their findings suggest that there would be one additional heart problem for every eight COPD patients and every 11 pneumonia patients who receive clarithromycin, compared to patients who are not given the antibiotic.
The results also suggest that the increased risk of heart problems may last after patients stop taking clarithromycin, possibly due to the effect that the antibiotic has on the inflammation process in patients with chronic lung conditions, the researchers said.
They said their findings need to be confirmed before any changes in the treatment of COPD and pneumonia patients are made. Although the study showed a link between the use of clarithromycin and possible heart problems, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
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and if Carlsberg made patient waiting rooms…
We are pleased to announce that if you like reading or would like to give a perfect present then visit the Royal Blackburn Cardiology Out Patients Department for a selection of superb books by famous authors including Tom Clancy, Lee Childs, John Grisham, Michael Connolly, Stephen Brown and David Baldacci to name a few.
All I can say is a very generous man called Russ who lives near Ewood Park has donated over 200 books to the charity. Now these aren’t tatty books these are hardback books with covers and are in perfect condition and we mean perfect.
If you bought all these books from Amazon or a book shop you would be looking to pay at least £2800.
Travel Insurance for Heart Patients
We have worked with ALLClear Insurance Services for the last 6 months to bring you tailored Travel Insurance for people with Heart Conditions. We know how difficult it is to get well priced travel insurance that really works for you. This is not Pumping Marvellous travel insurance this is offered by All Clear and what Pumping Marvellous has helped with is the process, price, questions and the actual cover you get. We think it is a massive step forward in readressing how people get to live a normal life and also the significant problem of going on holiday without any cover at all. If you would like to get a quote then please click here and you will be taken to our dedicated website.
Heart Failure and memory loss link
Heart failure has been linked to detrimental changes in the brain, says new research published recently in the European Heart Journal. As heart failure has been linked to depression and cognitive impairment, Professor Osvaldo Almeida of the University of Western Australia, and colleagues investigated whether this is specifically due to the heart failure itself, or sanother factor. They analysed data on 35 heart failure patients, 56 ischemic heart disease patients without heart failure, and 64 healthy people with neither condition. All were aged 45 years or above and had no obvious cognitive impairment. MRI scans of the participants’ brains were assessed. This is the first study of cognitive changes in heart failure to include patients with ischemic heart disease.
Participants with heart failure had a lower volume of grey matter in many areas of the brain than the other two groups. These patients also had lower scores on short- and long-term memory, had longer reaction speeds, and took longer to complete a reasoning task. Professor Almeida explains, “What we found in this study is that both ischemic heart disease and heart failure are associated with a loss of cells in certain brain regions that are important for the modulation of emotions and mental activity. Such a loss is more pronounced in people with heart failure.
Health professionals and patients need to be aware that problems caused by heart disease are not limited to the heart.” In their paper, the researchers conclude, “Adults with heart failure have worse immediate and long-term memory and psychomotor speed than controls without ischemic heart disease.” This could make it more difficult for patients to comply with complicated treatment regimes, they warn, stating, “Our findings are consistent with the possibility that patients with heart failure may have trouble following complex management strategies, and, therefore, treatment messages should be simple and clear.”
They add that further studies will have to be done to uncover the process by which heart failure leads to loss of brain cells, to see whether the problems become worse over time, and to discover whether patients could benefit from cognitive rehabilitation.
Responding to the study, Dr. Christiane Angermann and colleagues at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, say that links between cardiovascular disease and dementia have been observed for decades. In fact, the label “cardiogenic dementia” was first used in 1977. Smaller studies on humans have investigated the issue, with inconsistent results. A few animal studies have also been carried out, and these studies showed changes to the brain after a heart attack. Another potential cognitive problem among heart failure patients is an inability to decide what to do if their condition changes. For example, a patient who has a cognitive problem and experiences sudden weight gain may not think to notify their physician. Their condition could worsen over time, resulting in an avoidable trip to the emergency room.
Richard S. Isaacson, MD, a neurologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine, recommends that patients bring a family member or carer to doctor appointments to help understand the treatment regime and the importance of taking medication consistently. “People with heart failure are going to have trouble understanding because their thinking skills are not as strong as they used to be,” Isaacson says. “They often have multiple medical problems and difficulty understanding what they can do to help themselves.” He supports the use of handouts to explain heart failure and its treatments, to help remind patients of what they need to do and why.
Become a chocoholic… Chocolate and Heart Failure
Now remember don’t over do it! Please note the important point at the bottom which is highlighted… Eating flavanol rich or dark chocolate for a short term may help patients with congestive heart failure, according to a new study in the European Heart Journal. But the effect from long term consumption of flavanol-rich chocolate remains unknown.
There is a lot in the press about coffee and it’s effect on Heart Failure. We would ask you to tread carefully and use common sense before acting on press reports as the important word used by the clincian in the report below is “association”. Remember coffee has caffeine that is a stimulant and definitely makes your rate increase which is not what we are trying to do when we have a Heart Condition.”Drinking coffee moderately may reduce the risk of heart failure, but drinking too much makes this benefit disappear, according to a new review.
People who drank two cups of coffee a day were 11 percent less likely to have heart failure, compared with people who drank no coffee. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body, and can be caused by factors ranging from high blood pressure to pregnancy.
Constantly drinking too much coffee, however, negates this benefit: no difference in heart failure risk was seen between non-coffee drinkers’ and those who drank more than three cups a day.
“As with so many things, moderation appears to be the key here,” said study author Dr. Murray Mittleman, director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
The study showed an association, not a cause-and-effect link.
Still, there is reason to think coffee lowers heart failure risk, the researchers said. Moderate coffee consumption may increase drinkers’ caffeine tolerance, which could in turn limit their susceptibility to high blood pressure. Additionally, coffee drinking has been shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes and hypertension are major risk factors for heart failure, Mittleman said.
The finding “is good news for coffee drinkers, of course, but it also may warrant changes to the current heart failure prevention guidelines, which suggest that coffee drinking may be risky for heart patients,” said study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, a research fellow at the center.
The researchers looked at data collected on 140,220 people in Sweden and Finland who participated in five previous studies. There were a total of 6,522 cases of heart failure between 2001 and 2011. The causes of heart failure often cannot be reversed, but the condition can be treated.
The researchers took into account the differing serving sizes between Europe and the United States (European servings are generally smaller), however, they did not account for coffee’s strength or whether the coffee was caffeinated, though they noted that in northern Europe, it typically is.
The study was published yesterday (June 26) in the journal Circulation Heart Failure.
The Pumping Marvellous treatment…
A fitting crescendo to Heart Month
Pumping Marvellous are very focused around children and young people getting the right education on healthy lifestyles and delivering in a way they enjoy and learn but also having big fun doing it. That’s why we have just added a new “string to our bow” for the charity called Heart Stars, this is still in development but will be ready to launch very soon headed up by a very special young lady Mirren Terry. Coming to your screens as promised!
In our commitment to ensuring children and young people start their lives with the best possible education we have teamed up with on Wednesday 29th February 2012 the East Lancashire Hospital Trusts Heart Failure Nursing Team under the direction of Angela Graves and the Blackburn with Darwen Health Teams under the direction of Mark Campbell to have a day of fun filled education with the children of the Infants and Juniors of The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Blackburn. We will be educating the children about the Heart and its function, exercise and it’s impact on the heart and the importance of healthy food.
Not only will the children be actively involved all day they will also have some homework pre the event which will include the infants trying to name 10 correct fruit and vegeatable which they will learn before their fun filled day and the juniors answering a questionnaire on how much they know about the heart and the affects of nutrition and exercise. Whilst answering the questions both the infants and juniors will gather sponsorships which will be based on how many they can get correct by the 29th February 2012.
Mums or Dads can also win a full week of juice detox from Soulmatefood one of our corporate sponsors.
Collections on the day will go to the “Heart of Blackburn” 3D scanner appeal. Monies collected through the sponsorship forms will go to your local Heart Failure Chairty Pumping Marvellous.
Celebration over a service that should be standard
After reading this commentary below from this is Bath we are surprised and concerned with the slant of this article as it seems as though there has been some ground breaking progress made with the availability of the BNP test when the BNP test (Brain natriuretic peptide) should be made available across all areas of the UK. We are however pleased that this seems to be an initiative made by GP’s. Taking a neutral stance but is this the sort of spin we should expect from the “New NHS?” We also hope that the implementers below realise that if the reading is above 400 then this should mean an automatic referral for an Echo-cardiogram within 2-3 weeks of the results via NICE guidelines which will ultimately put strain on the Hospital Services. Lets hope they have planned well. Although you do wonder who wrote this as ECG doesn’t mean an Echo-Cardiogram??!
Article - published by “this is Bath” (visit the publication at this is bath)
–GP’s who are taking the reins of the NHS in Bath have revamped heart treatment to save patients from undergoing unnecessary hospital scans. The new venture will see patients with symptoms of heart failure being offered a blood test at their GP surgery instead of being automatically referred to the Royal United Hospital.
Blood will be analysed for an enzyme which is only present if the muscles of the wall of the heart are put under significant strain. Patients get their results within 48 hours, and only if the blood test is positive are they now referred to the RUH for an echo-cardiogram (ECG).
This will save people from an unnecessary hospital scan and an anxious wait, and is likely to save the NHS locally up to £60,000 a year through better use of resources. RUH clinical lead in cardiology Dr Jacob Easaw and Dr Ruth Grabham from Newbridge Surgery worked closely together to create the new service.
Dr Grabham is the clinical director of the new clinical commissioning group, which will take over local health and care planning from the NHS B&NES primary care trust when it is abolished in April next year. She said: “We want to use this opportunity of clinically-led commissioning to improve services for patients.
“This new pathway for diagnosing heart failure will significantly reduce anxiety for a lot of patients. Now, a simple blood test could rule out the problem in a matter of days. A blood test is also much cheaper than a hospital outpatient appointment, so this new service shows it is possible to change services, improve patient experience and save money all at the same time.” Dr Easaw said: “This partnership will lead to improved early diagnosis of heart failure, and this means as cardiac specialists we can focus more of our attention and resources on those patients who need our skills the most.
“We will see high-risk patients earlier than in the past which means treatment can be more effective. It also avoids unnecessary scans and worries for those people who the blood test shows do not have heart failure.”
The change is the first significant local effect of the shake-up about to take place in the running of the NHS. Although many bodies representing clinicians across the NHS are deeply concerned about the Government’s Health Bill, the new commissioning group says getting GPs more involved in prioritising care makes sense.– (finish)
We have been saying for a long time that our patients are feeding back to us that their short term memory has been affected since being diagnosed with Heart Failure. We are pleased to see that research has proved their assumptions to be correct.
Heart failure is associated with a decline in mental processes and a loss of grey matter in the brain, new research has found. Scientists at the University of Western Australia say the changes could make it harder for people with heart failure to remember their medication and follow the instructions correctly.
The researchers performed cognitive tests and MRI scans on 35 patients with heart failure, 56 patients with ischaemic heart disease and 64 healthy volunteers. They found that people with heart failure tended to have worse immediate and long-term memory and reaction speeds than healthy people.Heart failure patients also showed changes in areas of the brain that play a role in cognitive and emotional processing.
Professor Osvaldo Almeida said: ‘What we found in this study is that both ischaemic heart disease and heart failure are associated with a loss of cells in certain brain regions that are important for the modulation of emotions and mental activity. ‘Such a loss is more pronounced in people with heart failure, but can also be seen in people with ischaemic heart disease without heart failure.’
The findings are published in the European Heart Journal and could have important implications, as figures from the British Heart Foundation suggest there are more than 27,000 new cases of heart failure each year in the UK.