Category: Heart diseas

Update: Heart Failure Drug Helps African-Americans

Results from the African American Heart Failure Trial (A-HeFT) indicate that African-American patients with heart failure, or end-stage cardiovascular disease, experienced a 43% improvement in survival after taking a new drug combination in addition to standard heart failure therapy, compared with patients receiving standard heart failure therapy plus a placebo. The product, called BiDil® (NitroMed), is a nitric oxide-enhancing, fixed-dose combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine.

The primary endpoints were a composite score made up of weighted values for death from any cause, a first hospi-talization for heart failure, and a change in quality of life. NitroMed submitted these clinical data to the FDA on November 1, 2004, and plans to file an amended New Drug Application for BiDil® by the end of 2004.
canadian pharmacy generic viagra

The mortality rate for the placebo patients was 10.2%; the rate for the treated patients was 6.2%. The treated patients experienced a 33% reduction in first-time hospitalization for heart failure and an improved quality of life.

African-Americans experience a disproportionate incidence of cardiovascular disease, and their rates of heart failure are greater than those of the corresponding non-African-Americans. They also die as a result of the disease at an earlier age.

As reported in the September issue of P&T, the 18-month study enrolled more than 1,000 self-identified African-American patients with New York Heart Association class III and IV heart failure. No patients were lost to follow-up during the study.

Reducing Cardiac Events Before Surgery

People with heart disease should take special precautions before undergoing all operations, even noncardiac surgery, to reduce their risk of a cardiac event, according to new joint guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. The guidelines update those from 2002. Some of the new recommendations are as follows :

Myocardial Infarctional Redefined

A long-awaited universal definition of myocardial infarction (MI) has been released. A global task force with expertise in biomarkers, electrocardiographic (ECG) criteria, imaging, interventions, clinical trials, and public policy has updated the consensus document from the year 2000. The revised definition is being published simultaneously in European Heart Journal, Journal of American College of Cardiology, and Circulation.