New resource for patients with Chronic Heart Failure

New information to help sufferers of Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) is now available for cardiologists, GPs, practice nurses and allied health professionals.

 

The Medical Journal of Australia published on 15 March 2011 an article on its website providing information on updates to the prevention, detection and management of chronic heart failure in Australia. The article is authored by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

 

Chronic heart failure is an ongoing condition in which the heart muscle is weakened and can t pump as well as it normally does.

 

While it can be life-threatening, the symptoms can be controlled and patients can live a longer, healthier life by taking charge of the condition and working in partnership with your healthcare team.

 

Common symptoms of chronic heart failure include shortness of breath, tiredness, weight gain and swelling of the ankles and/or belly.

 

CHF accounted for more than 2,700 Australian deaths in 2008.

 

The article provides new information on the National Heart Foundation of Australia/Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of chronic heart failure in Australia, 2006.

 

The new material complements the Heart Failure multidisciplinary care resource released in August 2010 and the forthcoming adaptation to the Living well with Heart Failure consumer resource for Aboriginal people.

 

The team of experts responsible for the 2006 guidelines agreed that sufficient new evidence had emerged since 2008 to warrant an update to the National Heart Foundation of Australia/Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of chronic heart failure in Australia, 2006.

 

The update reflects new evidence in the following areas:

  • Use of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) including plasma-BNP or N-terminal pro-BNP measurement in guiding treatment of chronic heart failure

  • Physical activity and rehabilitation

  • Pharmaco-therapy

  • Use of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) in treatment of systolic heart failure

  • Use of devices - biventricular pacing and left ventricular assist devices

  • Treatment of cardiac arrhythmias in patients with chronic heart failure

  • Multi-disciplinary care and post-discharge management programs.

 

The updated information will be incorporated into the 2006 guideline and an on-line integrated version will be released on the National Heart Foundation website in May 2011.

 

National CEO of the Heart Foundation, Dr Lyn Roberts thanked the Executive Writing Group which prepared the update including Prof. Henry Krum (Chair), A/Prof. Michael Jelinek, Prof. Simon Stewart, Prof. Andrew Sindone, A/Prof. John Atherton and the Heart Foundation Clinical Programs team.

 

Chief Medical Adviser, Professor James Tatoulis, said the guidelines would ensure health professionals had access to the most up to date research to help guide the best treatment for the 300,000 Australians who currently suffer from heart failure.

 

A copy of the article is available on the MJA s website at

http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/194_08_180411/kru11483_fm.html

 

For enquiries, please contact the Heart Foundation on 1300 36 27 87 or

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15 March 2011.