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Counseling May Not Help Heart Failure Patients Comply With Rx
Date:9/22/2010

uding help from physicians who specialize in heart failure and specially-trained nurses, can help patients stick to healthier lifestyles and medications.

Telemedicine, including sensors that can monitor vital signs and heart pressure and transmit data to physicians, is also promising, Fonarow said.

Especially for those with mild symptoms, making the lifestyle changes and sticking to prescribed medications can go a long way, but all of the steps required can be overwhelming, said Dr. John Cleland, a cardiologist at Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull in England, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

"The potential for information overload is exceedingly high," Cleland said. "Education and motivation are required to improve outcomes because it is the patients with rather mild symptoms who may not feel the need to bother that benefit most from intervention. Patients who have severe symptoms have often reached the end of the road and then there is little we can do for most."

More information

The American Heart Association has more on heart failure.

SOURCES: Lynda H. Powell, Ph.D., chair, department of preventive medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., American Heart Association spokesman and professor, cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles; John G. F. Cleland, cardiologist, Hull York Medical School, University of Hull, Kingston-upon-Hull, England; Sept. 22/29, 2010, Journal of the American Medical Association


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