Social and welfare factors and Heart Failure
There is an increasing trend in heart failure, mainly due to the aging of the population. However researchers at Western Infirmary in Glasgow have looked at the impact of social and economic deprivation in the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure in over 2,000 people taking part in a health project.
The researchers found that the incidence of heart failure increases significantly with increasing social deprivation. Those patients falling into the social deprivation category were 44% more likely to develop heart failure than more affluent patients. And those in the deprived groups had 23% fewer follow up visits each year with their general practitioner. However, prescribed treatment did not differ with social or economic status. More needs to be learned about why socioeconomic factors influence heart failure, so that outcomes for all can be improved.
We are glad that there is now evidence which needs to be put to clinicians that socioeconomic factors do have a dramatic effect on Heart Failure outcomes.
Heart Failure Conference “Cardiac Centre To Community”
Pumping Marvellous, The East Lancshire Hospital Trust, Medtronic and Servier put on a clinician led Heart Failure conference for GP’s to talk through the innovative options and solutions to Heart Failure Care in patients. Guest speaker is Dr David Fox, Consultant Electrophysiologist from the Northwest Cardiac Centre in Wythenshawe. Invites available from Pumping Marvellous.
Evidence is gathering that cardiac rehabilitation is a significant factor in the stabilisation of heart failure and unfortunately there are many of us who aren’t good at it. That includes patients, the NHS, local government and other health providers. There is no magic wand to this so we decided to help with producing a booklet that helps facilitate physical movement leading onto exercise. The booklet alone won’t do the work but it will highlight the wide variety of programmes and courses available to Heart Failure patients in the East Lancashire area where people get accustomed to the fact that exercise doesn’t have to mean the GYM; it is social interaction, it’s about having a laugh and a joke and who could think of anything better than that as well as being good for you!
We really wish we had the resources to pull this together for all Heart Failure patients but we don’t, however we are unsure what the future holds so we will have to wait and see.
How important is excercise to you as a Heart Failure patient?
Before we talk to you about this really important article it is important that you get the go ahead from a clinician before you start any exercise and especially marathon running!!
People with heart failure who are also depressed may benefit from regular, moderate exercise, a new study suggests. Researchers found patients who exercised an hour and a half to two hours per week had slightly lower depression scores, which in turn were tied to a reduced risk of re-hospitalisations and deaths related to heart problems.
Still, the effects of exercise were “modest,” researchers said. “We know that in people who have existing heart disease, including heart failure, that if they have depression on top of it, it tends to make matters worse,” said Kenneth Freedland, a psychiatrist from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who wasn’t involved in the new study.
“Exercise seems to be helpful, but by itself, it’s probably not a sufficient treatment for clinical depression in somebody with heart failure,” Still, Freeland added, “anything that can make a dent in (depression) is a good thing.”
The new findings are based on a secondary analysis of a study looking at the effects of exercise on long-term health risks in people with heart failure, which occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of the body.
Close to six million people in the U.S. and 1 million people in the UK have heart failure. Moderate exercise is generally considered safe in people with heart failure, as long as they have been first cleared by their doctor.
In 2003 through 2007, researchers randomly assigned 2,300 people with heart failure to a supervised and at-home exercise program or to their usual treatment. They asked participants about depression symptoms at the start of the study and tracked both those symptoms and hospitalizations and deaths over time.
Participants in the exercise group had three 30-minute workout sessions per week for three months, then were given a treadmill or stationary bike to continue exercising at home for another nine months.
About 28% of patients were clinically depressed at the start of the study, based on a questionnaire covering 21 different symptoms. Depression scores in general — and especially in people with a depression diagnosis — tended to drop with exercise. But the disparity between exercisers and non-exercisers was small, equal to participants scoring similarly on 20 out of 21 symptoms and exercisers getting a “mild” score on one symptom where the usual care group got a “moderate” or “severe” score.
“Most of the patients were not depressed,” said lead researcher James Blumenthal, a clinical psychologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham. “To go from being not depressed to a little bit more not depressed may not be that clinically meaningful.”
June 12th 2012 was the day we staged our very succesfull heart failure charity patient conference. We had guest speakers from -
Talking about cardiomyopathy – Cardiomyopathy Association – CEO Robert Hall
Devices and what do they do – Medtronic – Emma Nardo
What is Tai Chi – Jason Hacking
Heart failure update – East Lancashire Hospital Trust – Angela Graves
Pumping Marvellous update – Nick Hartshorne-Evans
We received some positive feedback and some developmental feedback from the conference so for the next conference which will be Winter 2012 it has already been decided that technical content will be limited to a minimum.
Here are some pictures of the event -
Responsible department: Department of Health
Managing a long term condition like Heart Failure and it’s associated conditions including cardiomyopathy is tough enough without the financial strain of paying for prescriptions as well.Remember medication is for life and there are over 1,000,000 people in the UK diagnosed with Heart Failure. Pumping Marvellous the Heart Failure charity is asking for people to support the e-petition which is long overdue. People can’t understand why someone taking thyroxin or who has diabetes is exempt from paying for prescriptions when Heart Failure patients do. Pumping Marvellous is asking the government to overhaul the prescription system and include Heart Failure and it’s associated conditions within the free prescription bracket.
UK Heart Failure Day Friday 11th May 2012
Pumping Marvellous is promoting UK Heart Failure Day which this year lands on Friday 11th May 2012. Last year Pumping Marvellous promoted the day by working with Asda to inform their customers and won tickets to the British Society for Heart Failure conference at the Queen Elizabeth 2nd Conference Centre in London last year. We aim to better our offering this year and we are not only in Asda in the East Lancashire area but are also promoting awareness of Heart Failure all week at the Royal Blackburn Hospital with a bright and attractive stand. Through our websites and social media we will also be pushing the word out onto the streets everyday.
Guest Blog – AF Association (Part 3 of 3)
So who are the Atrial Fibrillation Association?
The Atrial Fibrillation Association (AFA) is a UK registered charity that focuses on raising awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) by providing information and support materials for patients and medical professionals involved in detecting, diagnosing and managing Atrial Fibrillation. There is now also a sister charity in the US, Atrial Fibrillation Association USA.
All information booklets published by AFA have been approved by an AF medical panel and endorsed by the Department of Health. The booklets currently available include titles on: Cardioversion of AF, Drug Treatments for AF, Blood Thinning for AF, two Checklists and an AF Patient Information booklet. They are downloadable from the AFA website.
AFA aims to provide support and information on Atrial Fibrillation to those affected by this condition; to advance the education of the medical profession and the general public on the subject of Atrial Fibrillation and to promote research into the management of condition.
The charity is involved in several campaigns for AF and heart rhythm disorders including World Heart Rhythm Week, ACT on AF and Know Your Pulse.
Its website, www.afa-international.org provides a wealth of information for patients and professionals including links to UK and international AF specialists.
Healthy Habits for people who want to help their Heart get healthy
Some very basic tips for Heart Health
Don’t smoke – Male smokers had an 86% higher risk of heart failure compared to those who had never smoked. Women smokers had a 109% higher risk.
Maintain a Healthy Weight – Men who were obese were 75% more likely to develop heart failure, and women were 106% more likely. Being overweight increased the risk of heart failure by 15% in men and 21% in women.
Exercise – . Men who regularly engaged in moderate physical activity, like walking, had a 21% lower risk of heart failure; women who did the same had a 13% lower risk. Higher levels of exercise and physical activity reduced this risk even more, by 33% in men and 36% in women.
Eat vegetables – Men and women who ate vegetables three to six times per week had a 26% and 27%, respectively, lower risk of heart failure than those who ate vegetables less than once per week.
This YouTube version of the post below of ITV‘s Exposure – Heart Hospital (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham) shouldn’t disappear after 30 days so this will be a permanent fixture on the website. I have watched it a couple of times now and it has certainly brought some memories back for me. I think you can take a lot of positives away from it and we at Pumping Marvellous hope you see that.
I know what it is like to be talked about as I have Heart Failure and to here some of the details you would rather not here but this is all part of learning about your condition, it increases your knowledge and understanding of what you can and can’t do.