Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diuretics Reduce Risk of Death From Congestive Heart Failure

14.02.2006


Diuretics reduce the risk of death, delay heart deterioration and improve exercise capacity in patients with congestive heart failure, a new review of studies shows.



Although widely used for quick relief of CHF symptoms — cough, shortness of breath and swelling in the feet, legs and ankles — up until now it was not known whether diuretics had a more substantial effect in treating CHF.

“The available data from several small trials show that in patients with chronic heart failure, conventional diuretics appear to reduce the risk of death and worsening heart failure compared to placebo,” according to the review team led by Dr. Rajaa Faris of Saudi Arabia.


Diuretics, which help the body get rid of excess fluid, should be used in conjunction with other heart medications in treating CHF, the reviewers said.

The review appears in the most recent issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

The researchers looked at data from 525 patients from 14 randomized clinical trials — seven comparing diuretics with placebo and seven comparing diuretics with other heart medications in treating CHF. The studies involved three types of diuretics: thiazide, potassium-sparing and loop diuretics, such as Lasix.

Sixty-one percent of the participants were men with an average age of 59.

The authors estimate that “80 deaths could be avoided for every 1,000 patients treated” with diuretics for CHF, but add that this evidence was based on only 15 deaths out of 221 participants from the studies that reported mortality rates.

CHF, also known as heart failure and cardiac failure, involves a decrease in the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently through the body, leading to a lower delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells and causing symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath and difficulty with even basic physical activity.

Five million Americans have CHF and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed yearly, according to the American Heart Association. There is no cure or surgical treatment for the disorder and physicians rely on a variety of medications to control symptoms and decrease damage to the heart and other organs in the body while improving patients’ quality of life.

But some doctors question whether the benefits of the drugs outweigh the risks. Diuretics can have serious side effects such as depleting electrolytes (potassium and magnesium), which can contribute to irregular heartbeat and kidney disorders.

“Diuretics are effective, easy to administer and inexpensive,” said Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “Excessive use of diuretics provokes renal [kidney] insufficiency. Importantly, changes in renal function do impart an additional risk for patients with heart failure.”

Proper dosing, Yancy said, is key. “The hope is that physicians will use diuretics in a manner sufficient to relieve evidence of congestion but not to the extent that the risks of disturbance of electrolytes and renal function occur.

“Few drugs are as immediately effective for heart failure as diuretics,” Yancy added. “Any patient in whom these drugs are prescribed should feel at ease with the therapy, provided they are under the care of a team of health care professionals who are actively evaluating electrolyte balance and kidney function.”

The Cochrane reviewers say that many of the studies they analyzed were small, with varying types and doses of diuretics compared, and that further research is needed to understand the optimal use and benefits of diuretic treatment

A large, long-term study of diuretic treatment for older adults with high blood pressure in a recent American Journal of Cardiology found that although those on the drug had a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes, the death rate from heart attack or stroke was significantly reduced.

Rajaa Faris | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org
http://www.cfah.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

nachricht Study advances gene therapy for glaucoma
17.01.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

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...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

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...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

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...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>