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How to Save on Your Prescriptions

The approvals of tafamidis (Vyndamax) and tafamidis meglumine (Vyndaqel) in 2019 were a victory for patients with transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM). These new agents slow the development of heart failure and reduce the 30-month mortality rate from 43% to 30%. But at $225,000 a year, the drugs may be unaffordable for many. Medicare Part D […]
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Proven Heart-Attack Prevention Regimen for Patients with Angina

If given a choice between taking three medications or undergoing an invasive procedure to prevent a heart attack, most people will choose the medications. It’s a sound decision, since research has shown that medical therapy for coronary disease can be very effective. But here’s the rub: A recent study found that only one-third of patients experiencing […]
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Are You Taking a Drug “Off-Label?”

Pharmaceutical companies spend countless millions conducting clinical trials to prove that a new drug is effective in treating a specific medical condition. When the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug, it can be marketed only for use in patients with that condition. That’s its “on-label” use. Pharmaceutical companies have exclusive rights to […]
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Rx for a Longer Life

Every day, millions of people with heart disease or its risk factors are prescribed medications designed to make them feel better, improve their heart function and help them live a longer, healthier life. These medications work only if they are taken, and they work best when taken as prescribed. So it’s surprising to learn that […]
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Diuretics: Little Pills With a Big Job

Heart failure often causes the body to retain fluid. When this happens, you may gain several pounds in a day. Your feet and ankles may swell. Your belt may feel tighter. Maybe you become short of breath with daily activities or feel like you’re going to suffocate when you lie down. Some people lose their […]
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New Diabetes Drugs a Boon for Patients with Heart Failure

SGLT2 inhibitors go above and beyond lowering blood sugar to prevent heart failure-related deaths and hospitalizations. By Holly Strawbridge Patients with diabetes have numerous options for drugs to lower their blood sugar (glucose) levels. But a newer class of diabetes medications known as sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors has benefits that far surpass those […]
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Clinical Trials Offer Potential Benefits with Few Risks

Here’s what you need to know if you have the option of participating in a phase 3 trial of a new medication. By Holly Strawbridge If you were offered a medication that might lower your risk of heart attack further than any drug that is currently available, would you be interested? What if your doctor […]
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Coming Soon: An LDL-Lowering Drug with Few Side Effects

Bempedoic acid may be an alternative for patients who can’t take statins. By Holly Strawbridge Any day now the U.S. Food & Drug Administration is likely to approve a novel cholesterol-lowering agent called bempedoic acid. It is as effective as statins in reducing LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation associated with […]
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Managing A-fib with Food

In their place, Zumpano recommends adopting a Mediterranean-style diet. This diet eliminates or minimizes red meat in favor of fish and skinless poultry. Three-fourths of your plate should be filled with vegetables, whole grains or legumes. Olive oil replaces butter and other oils, and fruit and nuts are used for snacks.
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In The News: June 2019

There's news that many people would like to hear. A small observational study of Greek patients presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in March 2019 found that taking a daily nap can lower blood pressure.
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Tell Your Doctor What You Want from Heart Failure Treatment

"If you have side effects from your medications and would rather not take them, I can understand," says Dr. Mountis. "If you don't want to be evaluated for an advanced therapy like a mechanical heart pump or a heart transplant, I can respect that decision after we have discussed the pros and cons. Our conversation will then shift to what you can expect to happen from that point on."
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Heart Beat: April 2019

Our biological clock (circadian system) governs many physiological processes, including blood pressure. Blood pressure normally dips at night. People who do not experience this temporary drop (called "non-dippers") are at increased risk for developing heart disease. Researchers discovered that one of four main genes comprising the circadian system act differently in men and women. They found that male mice missing this gene (PER1) become non-dippers and have a higher risk of heart and kidney disease. In contrast, female mice missing the PER1 gene continue to show normal dips in blood pressure at night (American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, January 2019 ahead of print). This phenomenon may explain in part why premenopausal women, who are less likely to be non-dippers than men of the same age, have a lower risk of heart disease. After menopause, their risk climbs due to other factors and quickly erases this biological benefit.
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