Help for People with Heart Failure

If you have heart failure — a common and life-threatening condition for survivors of heart attacks – a newer hormone-blocking therapy could help you live longer and better, according to the July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Heart failure occurs when the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of the body is damaged or weakened. It’s usually the end result of other cardiovascular conditions.

Heart failure is influenced by the many hormones that are produced as a result of heart damage. One of those hormones is aldosterone. Normally, aldosterone helps maintain proper levels of sodium, potassium salts and water in your body. But in the context of heart failure, too much aldosterone in your system can be damaging.

Studies have shown that people taking standard medications plus medications that block aldosterone were less likely to be hospitalized for heart failure and had a substantially reduced risk of death from heart-related causes. Studies also have suggested aldosterone blockers can improve heart function and the ability to exercise.

If you have heart failure, it may be helpful to talk with your doctor about the role aldosterone blockers can play and whether you might benefit from taking them.

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http://www.mayo.edu

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