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 The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>