Medtronic Device for Heart Failure gets approval in the US
Medical device maker Medtronic said on Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved its implantable heart defibrillator with resynchronization therapy for a wider group of patients.
The FDA approved the device, known as CRT-D, for heart failure patients with mild symptoms. This treatment potentially can improve survival, reduce hospitalisations and prevent the disease from getting worse, Medtronic said. The latest approval could increase the number of patients eligible to get the device by 620,000 worldwide, including nearly 200,000 in the United States, the company said.
Heart failure affects more than 22 million people worldwide, including around 1 million in the UK and more than 5.8 million in the United States. Previously the defibrillators, which help the heart’s lower chambers beat in a more synchronized way, were only approved by the FDA to treat certain patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure.
While certain mildly-symptomatic heart failure patients could already receive an implantable defibrillator to protect them from sudden cardiac arrest, they are still vulnerable to a further weakening of their heart. CRT-D therapy works by sending electrical impulses to the heart muscles, improving the blood-pumping capability
Eat FRESH and manage that SODIUM
This is an excellent piece of advice from Donna Arnett president elect of the American Heart Association. In the excerpt it talks about sodium so what you need to know is the calcualtion that works this through to Salt. Here is the calculation –
1000mg of sodium x 2.5 = 2.5g of salt
According to Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Epidemiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health and president-elect of the American Heart Association, diet is only ‘one component of the overall cause of heart disease.’ But, Arnett asserted that it can exert a strong influence.
Sodium also is considered the culprit for the one in three Americans who develop high blood pressure. Sodium attracts water into your cells; the increased fluid raises your blood pressure and subsequently raises your risk of stroke and heart attack, heart failure and death, Arnett says.
Race also plays a role in risk. UAB researchers recently examined the effects of sodium intake by race using data from the ongoing Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke and found a stronger association with death in black participants than whites, says Suzanne Judd, assistant professor of biostatistics at UAB and the study’s lead author.
Blacks with the highest sodium intake (average of 2,600 mg/day) had a 62 percent increased risk of dying, while whites had no increased risk, she said. “This supports the AHA recommendation that there may need to be race-specific sodium guidelines, but everyone should reduce their sodium intake,” Judd says. The AHA has an aggressive sodium goal of 1,500 mg per day for everyone.
First, Arnett said, increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat daily, especially the leafy kind. “This provides more potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure,” Arnett said.
“Fresh is the best source for fruits and vegetables, but canned versions can provide nutrition.” The primary drawback to canned and frozen foods is added sodium. But Arnett offers a solution: “Rinse these foods before cooking to help reduce sodium. Once rinsed, I think they are a great option for people on the go.” Fish also is on Arnett’s list of better food choices. “You should eat fish twice per week; fish are sources of the good fats associated with reduced risk of heart disease,” said Arnett.
When preparing your food, limit saturated fats such as those in butter, hard cheeses and red meats. “Avoid trans fats because they raise your bad cholesterol levels. So read food labels and look for partially hydrogenated oils, which is another name for trans fats,” Arnett says. Fats considered to be suitable for low consumption ? avocados, nuts, olives and olive oil ? are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help reduce the cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease.
A big calorie-causing culprit is fizzy drinks and sports and energy drinks, Arnett says. “The hidden sugars in these beverages are a common cause of weight gain among young people. Limiting yourself to two 12 oz. cans per week to reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes,” Arnett added.” end
US Heart Failure admissions drop
Is this a welcome trend in Heart Failure treatment through adveances in medicine and both management and self management of the condition?
Hospital admissions for elderly US patients with heart failure fell by nearly 30% over a decade, an analysis of federal Medicare data shows, a surprising finding that offers fresh evidence of progress in the battle against cardiovascular disease.
The report, being published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is the first to document a decline in admissions in the US for the condition, an enormously costly and debilitating problem and the most common reason for hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries.
The finding is based on data from more than 55 million patients in Medicare’s conventional fee-for-service program who were hospitalized for heart failure between 1999 and 2008. Researchers estimated there were 229,000 fewer admissions for heart failure in 2008 than would have been expected had the rate of admissions remained at 1999 levels. As a result, the Medicare program saved $4.1 billion in hospital costs related to heart failure.
Coming as the US population ages and as obesity and diabetes—both risk factors for heart disease—are enormous public-health concerns, were a welcome surprise to some heart experts. Many attributed the improvements to better preventive measures and disease management, as well as a reduction in elderly patients’ rates of heart attack—a common cause of heart failure.
About 5.8 million Americans are diagnosed with heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, which estimates that total costs for treating patients, including associated indirect costs, were $39.2 billion in 2010.