Navigation Links
Heart Failure Patients Overestimate Their Life Expectancy
Date:6/3/2008

Statistical survey indicates doctors need to be more clear in explaining realities

TUESDAY, June 3, (HealthDay News) -- For reasons not easily understood, many patients with the worst type of heart disease think they will live longer than their doctors tell them they will, new research shows.

Very carefully, cardiologists at Duke University began telling people being treated for heart failure -- the progressive loss of ability to pump blood -- that the condition would shorten their lives. They weren't believed.

Instead, many patients preferred to believe that they would have the normal life span expected of men their age, according to a report on this unusual bit of research, published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Life expectancy for people with heart failure is on average as bad or worse than for patients with cancer, said study author Dr. Larry A. Allen, a clinical instructor in cardiology. "The expectation is just four to five years with symptomatic heart failure, and those we see in the specialty clinic do even worse," he said.

It's hard for most people to face the truth about heart failure. "My general impression is that many of these patients don't comprehend how serious their illness is and how it might affect their survival," Allen said.

According to U.S. government statistics, about 5 million people in the United States have heart failure, and it results in about 300,000 deaths each year.

Pressing home the truth is important because "misperceptions about survival can hinder patients from making rational decisions about medical therapy and the end of life," Allen said.

So, he and his colleagues used the somewhat new Seattle Heart Failure Model to make predictions about 122 people being treated for heart failure, and to tell them the life span predicted by the model, which gives a fairly detailed description of what a heart failure patient can expect.

On average, the model predicted each person could expect 10 more years of life. Sixty-three percent of the people in the trial differed with that outlook, estimating an average of 13 more years ahead.

The researchers followed those people for three and a half years and found that the Seattle Heart Failure Model predictions were indeed accurate. "They even died at a slightly higher rate than predicted," Allen said.

Such information must be handled with great care, he said. "Obviously it needs to be carefully and gently explained to people," Allen said. "But if they understand what the range of prognoses will be for them, they can make more rational decisions about care."

Predictions could even improve lives, he said. "I certainly think we can improve life expectancy," Allen said. "We can motivate them to make good decisions about health care."

But caution is required, said Dr. Clyde W. Yancy, medical director of the Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute in Dallas, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

"This is one area where we need very precise tools so that we don't make mistakes," Yancy said. "If a mistake is made, it should be longer rather than shorter, so that we hold out hope as long as possible."

There are still some refinements to be made in the Seattle model, prepared at the University of Washington, Yancy said. Nearly half the people in the Duke study were black, and "there were no such candidates in Seattle," he said.

And then there is the difficulty that physicians face in talking about shortened life spans, he said. "We physicians are not equipped with communication skills in that area," Yancy said. "Extending our discussions to a quantitative dialogue requires tools that we have not yet refined."

More information

Learn about heart failure and its consequences from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Larry A. Allen, M.D., clinical instructor, cardiology, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., medical director, Baylor Heart and Vascular Institute, Dallas; June 4, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Drug for cluster headaches may cause heart problems
2. Use of certain lipid measures not more effective in predicting coronary heart disease
3. Restricting Blood Flow May Help Heart Bypass Patients
4. Urban Smog Tough on Young Adults Hearts
5. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
6. Vitamin Es lack of heart benefit linked to dosage
7. Drug That Lowers Resting Heart Rate Being Tested
8. Heart Attack Boosts Diabetes Risk
9. Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart
10. U of M study: Early treatment can reverse heart damage
11. Embryonic Human Stem Cells May Help Repair Heart Muscle, Lab Study Shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Heart Failure Patients Overestimate Their Life Expectancy
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, ... in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program ... investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the ... is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, ... he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one ... U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at ... former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an ... Puerto Rico , where the company ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, ... damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water damage ... operations have resumed, and the company expects to return ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Korea , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based ... next-generation CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device ... compression during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to ... also offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression ... crowdfunding campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)...  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central specialty pharmacy ... benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today officially began ... unveiling of new signage at its headquarters in ... a few other company-owned facilities across the country. This ... of whom will begin to see the AllianceRx Walgreens ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: