- POSTED: 16 Jan 2014 07:27
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A study is underway to test a new treatment for a common type of heart failure affecting 30 to 50 per cent of heart patients in Singapore.
SINGAPORE: A study is underway to test a new treatment for a common type of heart failure affecting 30 to 50 per cent of heart patients in Singapore.
The three-year trial, which is led by Associate Professor Carolyn Lam and Professor Mark Richards of the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS), will focus on patients who suffer from "diastolic heart failure".
This causes them to have stiff hearts that are unable to fill up blood effectively, resulting in a poorly functioning organ and in severe cases, death.
Only 32 per cent of patients suffering from this disease survive beyond five years. Yet, no treatment has been proven to reduce death rates or hospitalisation for this disease.
The new treatment involves a simple catheter procedure in the kidney artery to remove excess nerve signals, thus reducing tension in the heart and in turn, allowing the organ to fill up and pump out blood more efficiently.
Over time, the treatment will reduce inflammation around the heart, the researchers said on Wednesday.
"Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is common, triggers recurrent hospital admissions, has a high mortality and carries a high burden of healthcare costs," said Assoc Prof Lam. She hopes this "simple one-time approach" will benefit patients who previously did not have effective means of treatment.
The clinical trial, which is supported by the Singapore Clinical Research Institute, will be conducted in seven locations in Singapore, New Zealand and Australia.
The first intake of patients has begun at the National University Hospital and NUHCS.