For nearly 40 years a class of drugs known as beta blockers have been proven to increase patients’ survival prospects following a heart attack by decreasing the cardiac workload and oxygen demand on the heart.
In a breakthrough study released in the American Heart Journal, Northwestern Medicine cardiologist Jeffrey J. Goldberger found the majority of patients are frequently not receiving a large enough dose of these drugs, which can put their recovery from heart attacks and overall health into peril.
“Only 46% of patients studied were taking 50% or more of the target dose of beta blockers shown to be beneficial in clinical trials,” said Goldberger, director of cardiac electrophysiology research for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute of Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Furthermore, 76% of patients were still being treated with the same amount of medication given at discharge. This means that for the vast majority of patients, there wasn’t even an attempt to increase their dose.”
Goldberger added that patients not getting the right amount of beta blockers is a problem nationwide. “Beta blockers work to keep patients alive after a heart attack, so proper dosing of beta blockers can save many lives,” said Goldberger.
Northwestern Memorial was one of 19 sites that participated in the PACEmaker and Beta-blocker Therapy Post-Myocardial Infarction (PACEMI) Trial Registry. Nearly 2,000 patients, who had been treated for a heart attack, were enrolled across the sites.
Study participants were prescribed very low doses at discharge, in part to assess how their bodies were likely to react to the drug. Researchers then followed up with patients three weeks later to determine if their personal physicians had adjusted the dosage amount.
“One of the reasons for the low dosage at discharge from the hospital can be attributed to patients’ shorter length of hospital stay,” said Goldberger. “Better communication between patients and their personal physicians would help ensure patients are receiving the appropriate dose of beta blockers more quickly. Patients can be in and out of the hospital within two days after a heart attack, and this short amount of time doesn’t allow for us to increase their medication to the target dose while they are still here.”
Goldberger added that there is not yet a system in place for what should happen as an outpatient that used to happen as an inpatient.
“Patients might see one doctor in the hospital but a different one in the office, and those two might not be conferring on the appropriate amount of beta blockers the patient should be taking,” said Goldberger.
These findings make it clear, Goldberger added, that patients and their personal physicians need to work together and have better communication.
“Patients also need to schedule an initial doctor’s appointment following their discharge within two weeks, so that doctors can adjust the amount of medication in a timely fashion,” said Goldberger. “I would expect 70-80% of patients to achieve 50% or more of the target dose.”Media Contact
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Life Sciences
18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences