Study: Most Congestive Heart Failure Sufferers Unaware of Highly Effective New TreatmentAired March 8, 2000 - 1:40 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: People who have congestive heart failure may have a new option in treatment that could extend their lives and increase their quality of life. But as CNN medical correspondent Dr. Steve Salvatore explains, it is an option not commonly offered to patients.
DR. STEVE SALVATORE, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A little over a year ago, James Dugan wasn't able to walk or sleep without becoming short of breath.
JAMES DUGGAN, HEART FAILURE PATIENT: If I tried to lay down at night, when I slept I couldn't breathe right. I would maybe sleep like two hours.
SALVATORE: James was suffering from congestive heart failure, a condition that affects over 4 1/2 million Americans, leaving them unable to live active, healthy lives. But a new study may help change that. A long-acting beta blocker called Metoprolol XL, that blunts the heart's response to adrenaline, was shown to improve survival from some heart-failure patients, improve their quality of life and decrease the need for hospitalization by about a third. The study was founded by AstraZeneca, the makers of Metoprolol.
DR. MARRICK KUKIN, MT. SINAI MEDICAL CENTER: Anything that we can do to reduce inpatient days by making patients feel better and stay at home is going to reduce the overall economic burden of patients that have this disease.
SALVATORE (on camera): This is not the first study to show that beta blockers can improve survival and quality of life for people with heart failure. Experts say there's overwhelming evidence published in leading medical journals describing the benefits of these drugs, yet most patients still don't get them.
DR. ROBERT CALIFF, DUKE UNIVERSITY: The best data we have now shows about 30-percent usage of beta blockers, far less than we should be using.
SALVATORE (voice-over): But if beta blockers are so effective, why aren't doctors using them? CALIFF: We used to think beta blockers would be really bad for people with heart failure, so most doctors have been trained not to use this medication in this situation.
KUIN: So what we've learned is that to initiate therapy with beta blockers we have to start at a minuscule dose and gradually increase the does over several weeks.
SALVATORE: Now, doctors have to reeducate themselves and their patients.
KUIN: We have to just really work hard to teach ourselves and teach patients that by being on a beta blocker they will improve their quality of life and improve their length of life and stay out of the hospital.
SALVATORE: For James Duggan, it's like his heart failure never happened.
DUGGAN: Basically, whatever I was doing prior to it I can do now.
SALVATORE: Dr. Steve Salvatore, CNN, New York.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S TOPICS AND GUESTS|
CLICK HERE FOR CNN PROGRAM SCHEDULES
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.