Failure Death Risk reduced by taking Diuretics
February 13th, 2006
Failure (CHF) is a build up of fluid in the body, and when treated with
diuretics it can reduce the risk of death in the long term. Previously
it has been widely used for quick relief of the fluid build up of CHF
but a new research project confirmed that there is benefit for long term
treatment with diuretics.
data from several small trials show that in patients with chronic heart
failure, conventional diuretics appear to reduce the risk of death and
worsening heart failure compared to placebo," stated the analysis team
which was led by Dr. Rajaa Faris of Saudi Arabia.
The study first
appeared in the current issue of The Cochrane Library which is part of
The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates
medical research. The reviewers of this study warn that diuretics
should not be the only medication for the treatment of CHF. It needs to
be used with other heart medications to treat the patient fully.
The research study
consisted of looking at the data from 525 patients from 14 randomized
clinical trials. Of the 14 trials, 7 of them were a placebo and the
other 7 were with the use of diuretics. There were three types of
diuretics that were tested; thiazide, a potassium-sparing type and loop
diuretics. Sixty-one percent of the patients were men with an average
age of 59 years old.
The researchers of
the study estimate that around "80 deaths could be avoided for every
1,000 patients treated" with the use of diuretics for the treatment of
CHF. They do however say that the results were based on 15 deaths out
of 221 participants.
Other names for
CHF are heart failure and cardiac failure. In CHF a person loses the
ability to pump blood effectively through their body. This causes a
lack of oxygen and vital nutrients to be delivered throughout the body.
It creates fatigue and shortness of breath and extreme difficulty
keeping up with everyday activities. Fluid build-up in the body is also
a problem with CHF.
The American Heart
Association reports that there are around 5 million Americans suffering
from CHF with 550,000 new cases diagnosed every year. At this time CHF
does not have a cure. The diuretics are just one of the types of
medication that is prescribed to improve the quality of the patientís
life. The medications are used to help slow the damage to heart and
other organs and prolonging their life.
There are some
downfalls to taking diuretics. Diuretics can cause an electrolyte
imbalance by depleting potassium and magnesium. The other serious side
effects of taking diuretics are an irregular heartbeat and kidney
disorders. If you take diuretics it is extremely important to have your
doctor monitor electrolyte levels to make sure you are not having an
On a good note,
there was a long term study in the American Journal of Cardiology that
CHF patients that took diuretics had a somewhat higher risk for
developing diabetes that the death rate caused by heart attack and
stroke were considerably reduced.
The report said
that more research would be needed to further confirm the long term
benefits of diuretic treatment for CHF patients because these studies
were small. They would like to compare dosage amounts with different
types of diuretics to find the best treatment for CHF patients.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Heart Disease
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