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Potassium Supplements May Help Some Heart Failure Patients
Date:7/16/2014

"Because this is the first such study of this question, we hope that others confirm these results in independent studies," Leonard said in a university press release.

"Using potassium supplementation for patients receiving loop diuretic therapy may be a relatively inexpensive way to save lives," senior author Sean Hennessy, associate professor of epidemiology in the CCEB, said in the news release. "In today's climate of seeking cost-effective measures to keep patients healthy, this is a therapy that certainly merits additional consideration."

For her part, Narula said the study is valuable and unique because, "the potassium use was for prevention, as opposed to only in patients with documented low potassium."

She believes that "further studies are warranted but this may signal a need to change practice and begin routinely prescribing potassium to heart failure patients on diuretics."

Dr. Ajith Nair works in the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Program at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He agreed with Narula, saying that "this study emphasizes the need for potassium supplementation with use of higher-dose loop diuretics."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about heart failure treatment.

SOURCES: Tara Narula, M.D., associate director, Cardiac Care Unit, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Ajith Nair, M.D., Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Program, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; University of Pennsylvania, news release, July 16, 2014

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