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New technology may prevent symptoms of heart failure

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

The introduction of new technology to pacemakers and defibrillators may be effective in treating mild cases of heart failure, new research indicates.

A study published in the September 30th edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examined whether a new heart control technique, biventricular pacing, could successfully treat patients with mild heart issues, HealthDay News reports.

As part of the study, researchers assigned two treatment options to patients with defibrillators or pacemakers: the first using traditional therapy and the second offering the new biventricular pacing function. The study found that those given the expanded treatment experienced greater health improvements and lived longer than the control group.

Patients who receive this type of treatment typically report a type of heart failure which occurs when the heart does not properly pump blood throughout the body, often as the result of a heart attack. Doctors estimate this condition affects about 5.7 million Americans.

The study's authors, like Dr Jeptha Curtis from the Yale University School of Medicine, warn that "the study is definitely not definitive," and claim that further research must be done before the expensive devices are issued to patients.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital estimate that only about 20 percent of patients who need defibrillators actually get them, indicating the need for more research on the topic.
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