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Precious Time - 'Scientists discover how long heart failure patients can expect to live'
Date:2/12/2008

was 8 months for patients in high risk group; 3 months in very high

risk group

- Hospitalized heart failure patients had a 1 year mortality of

33.1% and a 5-year mortality of 68.7%

"An important aspect of heart failure care has not been adequately addressed", says Dr. Ko. "An end of life conversation does not take place, mainly because it's difficult for physicians to know which patient has limited survival. With detailed life expectancy data, we believe our results may assist in making more informed and difficult treatment decisions focusing on improving the quality of life among these patients with a few months to live."

"Heart failure" means that your heart isn't pumping blood as well as it should. Heart failure doesn't mean your heart has stopped working or that you are having a heart attack (but, people with heart failure often have had a heart attack in the past). Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood to meet the body's demand. It is not a single disease entity, but rather the end result of a variety of cardiovascular problems. When heart tissue is damaged and the function of the heart is compromised, the body initiates compensatory responses such as increased heart rate and thickening of the heart's muscular wall. The five most common causes of heart failure are coronary artery disease (due to atherosclerosis), valvular heart disease, high blood pressure, alcohol, and a disease of heart muscle known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Each of these five conditions can cause heart failure by damaging heart muscle and therefore increasing the workload on the remainder of the heart.

The study "Life expectancy after an Index Hospitalization for Heart Failure Patients: A Population Based Study" is in the February issue of American Heart Journal.

To view study please visit,

http://files.newswire.ca/650/ICES_YM
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SOURCE Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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