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Heart Failure News Debrief

Stand out articles selected by our editorial team

Top cited, top downloaded and top altmetric score 2019

European Journal of Heart Failure

In all three categories, this position paper comes out top:

Read more HFA position papers

ESC Heart Failure

Top cited
  • Rationale and design of the EU‐CERT‐ICD prospective study: comparative effectiveness of prophylactic ICD implantation. Read the study design
Top downloaded
  • Transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis: an update on diagnosis and treatment. Read the review
Top altmetric score
  • The effects of sodium‐glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors on left ventricular function: current evidence and future directions. Read the review 

ESC Congress 2019: heart failure highlights

Heart failure has its own village in Paris: how to find Village 5
HFA session: Update on novel therapeutic approaches in heart failure with Profs. Piotr Ponikowski, John Cleland, Petar Seferovic and Michele Senni

Sport and the heart

  • Vigorous physical activity impairs myocardial function in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and in mutation positive family members. Read the article.
  • Effects of long‐term endurance and resistance training on diastolic function, exercise capacity, and quality of life in asymptomatic diastolic dysfunction vs. heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Find out more.
  • Exercise training in patients with ventricular assist devices: a review of the evidence and practical advice. A position paper from the Committee on Exercise Physiology and Training and the Committee of Advanced Heart Failure of the Heart Failure Association. Read the paper

From our news team 

  • Introducing nurse-led heart failure clinics in Swedish primary care settings. Find out more.
  • Empagliflozin improves diastolic function in a nondiabetic rodent model of heart failure With preserved ejection fraction. Read the article.
  • Regional diastolic dysfunction in post-infarction heart failure: role of local mechanical load and SERCA expression. Discover more.
  • The Role of the Clinical Examination in Patients With Heart Failure. Find out more
    Prof. Ovidiu Chioncel, HFA Board member says: The clinical examination allows non-invasive assessment of the patient’s underlying hemodynamic state, based on whether the patient has elevated ventricular filling pressures and/or an inadequate cardiac index. Such assessments provide important prognostic information and help guide therapeutic decision-making. The manuscript is the most recent review describing the role of the clinical examination in the assessment of volume and perfusion status. The authors presented a comprehensive overview of relevant clinical signs and  pathophysiology. 

Heart failure news

Interesting focus issue of Cardiovascular Research on the emerging field of cardio-oncology. Find out more.

  • Cardio-oncology: a novel platform for basic and translational cardiovascular investigation driven by clinical need.  Read the article.     
  • Common risk factors for heart failure and cancer. Find out more.
  • Inflammation: a common contributor to cancer, aging, and cardiovascular diseases—expanding the concept of cardio-oncology. Read the paper.     

Further interesting reads

  • Integrative assessment of congestion in heart failure throughout the patient journey. Read more.
  • Clinical case: heart failure and ischaemic heart disease. Read the case
  • When to choose cardiac resynchronization therapy in chronic heart failure: type and duration of the conduction delay. Find out.

Recommendations from the Editorial Team

  • Effects of a self-management programme on patient participation in patients with chronic heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Read the article.
  • Prevalence and Prognostic Implications of Longitudinal Ejection Fraction Change in Heart Failure. Read the paper.
  • Sacubitril/valsartan and mitral regurgitation. Read the article.
  • Management of asymptomatic arrhythmias. Find out more - a European Heart Rhythm Association consensus document, endorsed by:
    • Heart Failure Association 
    • Heart Rhythm Society
    • Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society
    • Cardiac Arrhythmia Society of Southern Africa 
    • Latin America Heart Rhythm Society 
  • Doc, it runs in my family….. ….A high fat and sugar diet may cause heart disease. Scientists report that a high-fat, high-sugar diet in mouse mothers before and during pregnancy causes problems in the hearts of their offspring - such problems are passed down at least three generations. Read the paper.
  • A recent analysis of a CV outcome trial with an Sodium Glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) demonstrated that the SGLT2 reduced hospitalization for heart failure in patients with and without HFrEF, and reduced CV death and all-cause mortality in HFrEF patients. Read the analysis.

Latest news from the heart failure world

From BMJ and JAMA

High endogenous testosterone linked to higher likelihood of heart failure. Find out more
Not all chemotherapies equally toxic: long term effects of daunorubicin vs doxorubicin suggest the latter being more toxic. Read further

From ESC Journals

Left atrial function in heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction differs from that of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: a 2D speckle-tracking echocardiographic study. Read the study
ESC Working Group on Cellular Biology of the Heart: tissue engineering strategies combined with cell therapies for cardiac repair in ischaemic heart disease and heart failure. Find out more
Potassium binders for the prevention of hyperkalaemia in heart failure patients: implementation issues and future developments.  Read the article
Late onset heart failure after childhood chemotherapy. Find out more
Age differences in contemporary treatment of patients with chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. Read the article      

HFA Board recommendations

Published in New England Journal of Medecine

Week 19

 Literature review

Can we regenerate the heart by exercising? Find out here

New blood pressure guidelines: are we all hypertensive?

Two viewpoints in articles from JAMA Internal Medicine and the Conversation

Children who survived cancer during childhood have higher risk to develop cardiovascular disease: call for surveillance. Read more from the German CVSS study

What have genome wide association studies brought us? Leaders in the field publish 5 articles in CVR this month.

From European Journal of Heart Failure

May 2018 at a glance: the central role of co‐morbidities - a review from the editor, Prof. Marco Metra

Type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart failure: a position statement from the Heart Failure Association 

Finding the balance between costs and quality in heart failure: a global challenge. Read more

Week 16

 Literature review
  • Scanning your vascular health with your smart phone! Investigators develop and validate a new smart app that measures pulse wave velocity which is associated with new onset cardiovascular disease. Read the article in Nature Scientific reports
  • Fibrosis: in the spotlight of heart failure. New studies shed light on the importance of fibroblast subtypes in various stages of heart failure. Targeting fibroblasts and fibronectin may prevent heart failure development.  Two articles for you from Journal of Clinical Investigation and Circulation 
  • Race may  be an important parameter when testing for genetic mutations in inheritable cardiomyopathies. The majority of our knowledge stems from patients with European ancestry, but it may be different in patients from African or and Asian ancestry. Discover the discussion in JAMA Cardiology
  • Wanna know about what’s on my heart? Look into my eyes!  Abnormalities in retinal vasculature are associated with early onset myocardial infarction. Article in Nature Scientific Reports
From European Journal of Heart Failure

Week 14 - 2018

 Literature review
  • 'Living well: Diet advice to take to HEART'
    Summary: Before you try Whole 30 or a juice cleanse, talk to your doctor. New research from the European Society of Cardiology has found that very low-calorie eating plans could be damaging for those with heart disease.  Find out more.

  • 'Ibuprofen Can Stop Your Heart – 31% Increase in Cardiac Arrest Risk'
    Summary: According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among adults over 40 in the United States and other countries, with about 326,200 people experiencing an out-of-hospital SCA each year in the US alone; nine of 10 victims of SCA will die.  Read the article

  • When more is less and less is more: Is there an additional value of NT-proBNP in risk stratification in heart failure?  Find out more
From European Journal of Heart Failure
From European Heart Journal

Week 12 - 2018

Literature review
  • Blood pressure control: time to think of the unexpected

Non-traditional treatment of blood pressure in black barbershops. Read what happened

Take a nap to reduce blood pressure. Read about the study

  • The VEST trial finally sheds light on the usefulness of a wearable WCD in post-MI. Read the article from the American College of Cardiology.
  • Adjusting exercise ventilation efficiency for age: A step forward for optimizing prediction of outcome especially in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Find out more
  • Heart failure, shock and imaging:  slides and webcast from the recent Acute Cardiovascular Care 2018 congress.
From the HFA

As the call for Late Breaking Trials goes out for Heart Failure 2018, have a look at the video interviews from last year's congress on QUAILIFY, CHARM, TRUE6AHF and others on HFA News page.

Week 10 - 2018

Literature review
  • Patients who kept a daily diary of weight and symptom assessment had an improved survival; this being attributed to greater engagement in self-care.  Read the study in Circulation
  • In the Journal of the American Heart Association: Higher waist and hip measures may add up to greater risk for heart attack among women.  Read the report  
  • Severe sleep-disordered breathing is linked with stiffening of the arteries’ walls and may be related to the development of heart failure according to a recent study in ESC Heart Failure
From European Journal of Heart Failure
ESC Press releases
  • Ramadan fasting can be safe for patients with heart failure. Find out more
  • Heart attack patients prescribed antidepressants have worse one-year survival. Research presented at Acute Cardiovascular Care 2018

Week 8 - 2018

Literature review

The paracrine hypothesis 2018: extracellular (EC) vesicles recapitulate the therapeutic effects of cells, and may protect from heart failure.  Find out more

Heart Failure: a precancerous state? This study shows that the presence of heart failure may predispose to tumor growth. Read the study

Gout is a risk factor for HF development. However, whether treatment of gout is beneficial remains unknown. This small scale trial suggest that the drug probenecid may be effective in treating gout and heart disease.  Here's the link 

Interesting interaction between the (‘arrhythmogenic’) gene SCNA5A and heart failure: genetic variants in the SCN5A gene should prompt evaluation of rhythm disturbances but also heart failure!  Read the article

New HFpEF drug at the horizon: Researchers from the University of Colorado demonstrated that the drug ITF2357 (givinostat), a clinical-stage inhibitor of histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, was effective in murine models of HFpEF.  What do you think?

While February is American Heart Month, or Heart Health Month, the nursing profession is turning its attention towards leadership in cardiovascular disease prevention and awareness 12 months a year. Read 'Heart Health: Positive Impacts on Cardiovascular Health with new Blood Pressure Guidelines'

Selected papers from European Journal of Heart Failure

CRT Survey II: a European Society of Cardiology survey of cardiac resynchronisation therapy in 11 088 patients—who is doing what to whom and how?  The answer is here

Cancer diagnosis in patients with heart failure: epidemiology, clinical implications and gaps in knowledge.  Read the full article

The innate immune system in chronic cardiomyopathy: a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) scientific statement from the Working Group on Myocardial Function of the ESC. View the statement

ESC Press releases

Rapid pollution increases may be as harmful to the heart as absolute levels. Link to press release  plus reaction from the press

Week 6 - 2018

Literature review

Maybe we were underestimating the burden of cardiovascular disease: nearly a quarter of patients with chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease are dead or hospitalised within six months.  Read the article in Cardiovascular News

The article was written following publication of The chronic ischaemic cardiovascular disease ESC Pilot Registry: Results of the six-month follow-up in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2018. Komajda M, et al. 

Call to action: we need a flu shot study! Canadian research shows (Kwong JC, et al, New England Journal of Medicine, 2018) that the chances of a heart attack are increased six-fold during the first seven days after detection of laboratory-confirmed influenza infection, but if a flu shot can prevent this remains unclear. Read the review in Science Daily. 

Heart failure with improved ejection fraction: is a newcomer in the family important? Prof. Petar Seferovic, President-Elect, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Read the article

Editor's Choice from the European Journal of Heart Failure

Role of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in clinical stratification in heart failure. A position paper from the Committee on Exercise Physiology and Training of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. Find out more

Right heart dysfunction and failure in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: mechanisms and management. Position statement on behalf of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology. Read the paper

Effects of ferric carboxymaltose on hospitalisations and mortality rates in iron-deficient heart failure patients: an individual patient data meta-analysis.  View the results

Aliskiren alone or in combination with enalapril vs. enalapril among patients with chronic heart failure with and without diabetes: a subgroup analysis from the ATMOSPHERE trial.  Have a look at the analysis

Week 4 - 2018

Literature review

Patients with heart failure who have anorexia are also more affected in their physical functional capacity and have worse prognosis. Researchers from Gottingen have described the impact of the serious condition anorexia in this article

 It is never too late to pick up exercise! Researchers found that in previously sedentary healthy middle-aged adults, 2 years of exercise training improved maximal oxygen uptake and decreased cardiac stiffness and reduced the chance of developing heart failure.

Read the paper in Circulation

 The heart is smart! It sees the difference between adverse stress (e.g. hypertension) and good stress (e.g. exercise). This elegant study was published in Nature Medicine 

 Sacubitril/valsartan may be beneficial in post MI heart failure, was suggested from an experimental study published last year  

Abstracts from the Winter Meeting

The HFA Winter Meeting on Translational Heart Failure Research takes place this week. 

Discover the list of abstracts and presenting faculty. Abstracts will be published in the European Journal of Heart Failure in May

Reviews from the European Journal of Heart Failure

The journal has already started adding articles from 2018 to its list of Reviews. Bookmark the page for future reference

Week 2 - 2018

HFA Position Paper published

Heart and brain interaction in patients with heart failure: overview and proposal for a taxonomy. A position paper from the Study Group on Heart and Brain Interaction of the Heart Failure Association. In European Journal of Heart Failure

Editor's Choice from the European Journal of Heart Failure

Epidemiology and one-year outcomes in patients with chronic heart failure and preserved, mid-range and reduced ejection fraction: an analysis of the ESC Heart Failure Long-Term Registry. Read the article

What have we learned about heart failure with mid-range ejection fraction one year after its introduction?  Read the article

Recovered heart failure with reduced ejection fraction and outcomes: a prospective study  Read the article

Recommended paper from European Journal of Heart Failure

Evolving concepts in dilated cardiomyopathy.  Read the article

Recommended papers from ESC Heart Failure

Exercise and heart failure: an update.  Read the article

Safety profile and efficacy of ivabradine in heart failure due to Chagas heart disease: a post hoc analysis of the SHIFT trial.  Read the article

Week 49

 Novel anti-fibrotic treatment may be of help in Heart Failure. By inhibiting interleukin-11 the authors of this study show that organ fibrosis can be attenuated. Read the article

Interesting study describing the cardiac proteome of 16 anatomical regions and three cardiac cell types by high-resolution mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Study text

HFA Position Paper published
The Committee on Translational Research published in November's Journal
Editor's Choice from the European Journal of Heart Failure

The potential role and rationale for treatment of heart failure with sodium–glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors. Read the article

The mortality risk of deferring optimal medical therapy in heart failure: a systematic comparison against norms for surgical consent and patient information leaflets. Read the article

Effect of ivabradine in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: the EDIFY randomized placebo-controlled trial. Read the article

Richard Pacher Award for exceptional publications in the field of Heart Failure

The Austrian, German and Swiss Working groups for heart failure are promoting the Award which is endowed with 5000€ and will be awarded for the second time in 2018.

Original scientific work accepted for publication between 2016 and 2018 can be submitted by anyone, including people not involved in the publication submitted. The work has to be predominately done in Europe, i.e. more than 50% of authors must be employed at a European facility.

The aim of this award is to commemorate Richard Pacher by supporting exceptional or unconventional approaches to heart failure research. We are aware that this research will often not be immediately recognized by high-ranking journals. Therefore, the judges will not evaluate journal quality. This award aims to create incentive and reward research that focuses on quality rather than on impact factor.

It will be awarded during the Heart Failure congress 2018 held in Vienna, Austria.

Submission deadline: 15th February 2018

Submit to Martin Hülsmann

Week 47

  • The European Heart Journal devoted some pages to a new promising technique to end ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure, so-called optogenetics. Have a look
  • New data in the ongoing discussion on salt intake and heart failure.
    • During the last ESC Congress in Barcelona, presentations suggested that high salt intake may increase the risk of heart failure. Read more
    • The American Heart Association calls for prospective studies to solve this issue. Find out more
  • Two new studies on diastolic heart failure (HFpEF) are starting at the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK). They will investigate whether HFpEF can be better diagnosed, and its causes may be better clarified with the help of cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR). Find out more
  • The Influenza season is about to start. Did you get your shot already? American and European data suggest that for heart failure patients (and their care givers) a flu shot is really a good idea !

Did you also read about the HFA Summit which took place on 4 November in Poland? The Polish Cardiac Society and other mediacal bodies signed a declaration on the management of patients with heart failure.