In 2021, there were some changes to recommendations and an important FDA approval for patients with heart failure or who are at risk of heart disease.
The FDA approved the first therapy to treat a specific type of heart failure (HF), plus the American College of Cardiology updated guidelines to treat a different type of HF. These are among the most-read HF articles on AJMC.com
Here are the top 5 most-read HF articles in 2021.
5. Rare Cases of New-Onset Heart Failure Linked to COVID-19
There is a small and rare chance of developing new-onset HF following hospitalization for COVID-19, according to a study published in April 2021 of patients admitted to Mount Sinai Health System. Nearly a quarter (22%) of the patients who developed new-onset HF did not have a history of cardiovascular disease or known risk factors.
Patients who developed new-onset HF were younger than patients with a history of heart disease or its risk factors (43 years vs 73 years).
4. Older Adults Should Not Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease, USPSTF Recommends
Draft recommendations released by the United States Preventive Services Task Force in October indicated that adults older than 60 years would no longer routinely need to take a daily aspirin to avoid heart disease even if they were considered high risk. Evidence noted that the benefits of aspirin in this age group for preventing heart disease and stroke did not outweigh the risks, namely bleeding.
People between the age of 40 and 59 years who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease without a history of it should consult with their clinician on whether to start taking aspirin.
3. High-Protein Diet Reduces Cardiometabolic Risk Among Patients With Heart Failure
A high-protein diet can reduce several markers of cardiometabolic risk in patients with HF and diabetes who were considered overweight or obese compared with a standard-protein diet, according to a study published in February. The randomized study of 76 patients evaluated markers like glycosylated hemoglobin, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Patients on the high-protein diet also lost more weight on average than the standard-protein diet (7.9 pounds vs 6.4 pounds).
2. Entresto Is Top HFrEF Treatment Recommendation in Updated ACC Guidelines
At the beginning of the year, the American College of Cardiology published updated guidelines for treatment optimization of HF with reduced ejection fraction and recommended sacubitril/valsartan (Entresto) ahead of all other renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors.
The guidelines already indicated sacubitril/valsartan for patients with chronic HF, and the update expanded treatment to include patients with de novo, or new-onset, HF.
1. Entresto Wins First FDA Nod in Hard-to-Treat Type of Heart Failure
In February the FDA granted sacubitril/valsartan an indication to treat patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction, making it the first therapy approved for this population. The approval could make the new treatment available for up to 2 million people who previously only had drugs that were managing symptoms and comorbidities.
The drug was already on the market and approved to treat HF with reduced ejection fraction. Despite facing competition from other drugs and classes, it has been the first treatment of choice in this type of HF.