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
Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital
Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
27.10.2016 | Life Sciences