Next up in the news is a look at current heart failure treatments and how they affect different patients in different ways. Apparently, women benefit from some treatments more than men. One treatment, using a pacemaker to help coordinate the cardiac contractions of a patient in heart failure, called Cardiac Resychronization Therapy or CRT, is showing more promise when used in women with heart failure than men.

FDA Creates New Treatment Guidelines for Women

Woman dying on the tableAccording to the latest research released from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, women showed a 60 percent reduction in the development of heart failure or death after implantation of the pacemaker. This is important because at this time, fewer women than men are treated with CRT for their cardiac problems leading to heart failure.

The FDA recommends new separate treatment guidelines for men and women when screening them for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. The current guidelines recommend CRT for any patients with a prolonged QRS wave in their cardiac ECG of greater than 150 milliseconds.

New Female Focused Cardiac Research Needed

The FDA report says that there is also benefit to women with a prolonged QRS of greater than only 130 milliseconds while men did not. Their threshold for optimal treatment remained at the higher QRS prolongation. I like to see these types of studies as we continue to acknowledge that men and women are physiologically different. They need directed medical treatments and studies to find best practices for them.

In this case, authors of the report surmise that women’s hearts are smaller and therefore, a shorter prolongation duration has a greater effect on the cardiac output than with men. I’ll keep on top of this trend in gender based medical study and in the meantime, follow the link in the show notes for this episode in order to read the entire article for yourself, especially if you’re involved with cardiac care for female patients.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Tele-ICU Nursing Care Research and Episode 304.

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