| Another Way Your Heart
Can Give Out on You
(HealthScoutNews) -- A newly recognized
type of congestive heart failure kills more Americans than the
more widely known form of the disease.
A new study makes that claim in a
recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The newly recognized form is called
diastolic heart failure. It occurs when the heart contracts normally
but doesn't fill with enough blood. The more widely known form
is called systolic heart failure and it occurs when the heart
doesn't contract normally.
In both forms, the body fails to get
the necessary amount of oxygenated blood to meet its needs.
"Even though the recently recognized
form, called diastolic heart failure, is less deadly in individuals,
it produces more deaths nationwide because of its much higher
prevalence," says study author Dr. Dalane W. Kitzman, a cardiologist
at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
"In our study of older adults
with heart failure, over twice as many participants had diastolic
heart failure, suggesting that a key to reducing heart failure
deaths is successful treatment of this second type," Kitzman
The researchers examined data on cardiovascular
disease in more than 5,000 adults over age 65 in four U.S. communities.
They compared outcomes in four groups of people: diastolic heart
failure; systolic heart failure; no heart failure; and those with
no symptoms of heart failure but with weakened heart contraction
that usually precedes systolic heart failure.
People with systolic heart failure
had a 15.4 percent death rate, compared to 8.9 percent for people
with early signs of systolic heart failure. The death rate was
8.7 percent for people with diastolic heart failure and 2.5 percent
for people with no heart failure.
While the death rate was higher for
people with systolic heart failure, there were more than twice
as many people with diastolic heart failure. That means that diastolic
heart failure actually caused more deaths, the researchers say.
The study challenges the idea that
diastolic heart failure is not as serious a problem as systolic
"People have thought these patients
don't have high mortality. But this research shows that there
is a significant mortality among elderly people with congestive
heart failure - regardless of which type they have. This is a
significant public health problem that we need to learn more about
treating," Kitzman says.
To learn more about congestive
heart failure, go to the American
Reference Source 101