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 Editor: Asher Kimchi, MD

Intensive Treatment with Atorvastatin in Patients with Stable Coronary Artery Disease Significantly Reduces Hospitalizations for Heart Failure (HF)
Statins are known to reduce the rate of major cardiovascular events through their lipid lowering effects, but their potential benefit as treatment for HF is largely unexplored. Kiran K. Khush et al from University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine compared the effects of two doses of the same statin formulation to determine their impact on the incidence of hospitalization for HF among the two treatment arms. This study, which was published in the February 6, 2007 issue of Circulation, found that intensive treatment with atorvastatin in patients with stable coronary artery disease significantly reduces subsequent hospitalizations for HF compared with low-dose therapy. This benefit was most pronounced in patients with a history of HF. MOREĽ

Metoprolol Increases Plasma Cardiac Natriuretic Peptide Levels in Patients with Heart Failure

Many epidemiological studies have shown β-blockers reduce mortality in heart failure (HF). Consequently, β-blockade is now standard therapy for symptomatic HF. Acute and chronic HF prognosis is indicated, in part, by measuring levels of the B-type cardiac natriuretic peptides, brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP). These biomarkers appear to be good indicators of diagnosis and cardiac function and have the potential to be useful for cardiac diseases other than heart failure. A study done by Mark E. Davis, MBChB et al from the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences in New Zealand reports that the nonvasodilating β-blocker metoprolol causes a rise in plasma BNP and NTproBNP in heart failure patients that is unrelated to any clinical deterioration. The study was published in the February 13, 2006 issue of Circulation. MOREĽ

Long-Term Vasodilator Therapy With Nifedipine or Enalapril Did Not Reduce Need for Aortic-Valve Replacement in Patients with Severe Aortic Regurgitation
Aortic regurgitation results in left ventricular overload and eventual worsening of function. Vasodilator’s, such as nifedipine or enalapril, reduce both the afterload and the volume that regurgitates into the left ventricular, thereby preserving left ventricular function. It has been suggested that such therapy may reduce the need for aortic-valve replacement. A study by Artur Evangelista, M.D. et al from the Hospital Universitai Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain identified possible beneficial effects of vasodilator therapy on left ventricular function and the need for aortic-valve replacement. Their study, published in the September 29, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine showed long-term vasodilator therapy did not reduce or delay the need for aortic-valve replacement in patients with severe aortic regurgitation. MORE…

Higher Risk of Sudden Death After Myocardial Infarction Among Patients with Left Ventricular Dysfunction or Heart Failure 
One of the most concerning complications of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) is sudden death. The risk of sudden death is greatest within a few hours after MI and decreases dramatically thereafter. Scott D. Solomon, M.D., et al from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA studied the incidence and timing of sudden unexpected deaths or cardiac arrests after MI in patients with left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure or both. Their study, published in the June 23, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine shows that the risk of sudden death is highest in the first 30 days after myocardial infarction among patients with left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure or both. MORE...

Increased Risk of Mortality with Nesiritide for Decompensated Heart Failure

Clinical Profile of Pregnancy-Associated Cardiomyopathy

Cardiac Resynchronization Improves Symptoms and Quality of Life in Patients With Heart Failure and Cardiac Dyssynchrony

Vitamin E Supplementation Does Not Improve Cardiovascular Events and May Increase the Risk for Heart Failure

Glycogen Storage Diseases Can Present as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Is More Effective in Treating Congestive Heart Failure Than Amiodarone Therapy

Heart failure care inconsistent

A little electrical boost may help many heart failure patients

ENABLE Results Show Pitfalls of Endothelin Antagonists in Treating CHF

Resynchronization Therapy Reduces Hospitalization

Restoration Surgery May Have Long-term Benefits for Heart Failure Patients 

Isosorbide Dinitrate and Hydralazine Combination Therapy Proves Beneficial in Blacks with Heart Failure






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