QCOR 2012 Wednesday News Tips

American Heart Association Meeting Report - Abstracts 72 and 74

Chicago, Illinois, UNITED STATES


Embargoed for 4 p.m. ET – Abstract 72

Sedative use after first heart attack increases risk of subsequent attacks, deaths

Patients who take sedatives for anxiety and/or difficulty sleeping after having a heart attack are at risk of another ― including fatal attacks ― within one year.

That's the finding of Danish researchers who presented their population-based study at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012.

The researchers compared one-year recurrence of heart attacks and associated deaths in 24,217 patients who took sedatives with a matched number of patients who didn't. Patients were an average 71 years old and 55 percent were male.

Subsequent heart attacks occurred in 10 percent of patients taking sedatives compared to 8 percent of those not taking them. One-year mortality was also higher in patients taking sedatives.

In a separate analysis, researchers found deaths were higher in those taking sedatives mainly used for anxiety (anxiolytics) versus those used for sleeplessness (hypnotics). The researchers conclude that patients needing sedatives after heart attack might be at increased risk and may need more intensive secondary prevention to prevent future events. Note: Presentation is 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday, May 9, 2012.

Embargoed for 4 p.m. ET – Abstract 74

Heart failure clinics reduce deaths but increase hospitalizations

Patients at specialized heart failure (HF) clinics are slightly less likely to die in the first few years after being discharged than those receiving standard care ― but are more likely to be hospitalized again, according to data presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012.

The patients were discharged from 34 hospitals in Ontario, Canada between 2006 and 2007 and were followed until 2010. They were classified as either being treated at a HF clinic (further categorized as high/medium/low intensity HF clinic) or a standard care facility. The researchers then compared deaths, all-cause hospitalizations and HF hospitalizations between the groups.

Among 14,468 HF patients, 1,288 were seen at HF clinics. Over the next three years, 52.1 percent of those patients had died versus 54.7 percent of those treated at general facilities. However, HF clinic patients were also hospitalized more often: 87.4 percent versus 86.6 percent for all-causes and 58.7 percent versus 47.3 percent for HF-related causes.

HF clinics that also had programs for caregivers had better survival rates than those that only focused on the patient. Clinics that emphasized peer support and those with frequent contact between providers and patients also had better survival rates.  

Note: Presentation is 5 p.m. ET, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. Author disclosures and funding information are on the abstracts.

Statements and conclusions of study authors presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position.  The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability.  The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

NR12 – 1067 (QCOR12/WedNewsTips)

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