European researchers lay cornerstone for improved treatment of heart failure
Scientists at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin have now presented their first results of the EU-funded multicenter research project, SICA-HF (Studies Investigating Comorbidities Aggravating Heart Failure). They have found that heart failure can lead to a general wasting in the skeletal muscle, which differs from age-related muscle wasting and should therefore be treated in a targeted manner. Partners from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Poland and Russia were involved in the project. It has a duration of four years and was funded with 3 million Euros from the European Union.
For the project, health related data were collected from more than 1400 patients and 350 healthy subjects in order to better understand the comorbidities in patients with heart failure. Analyzing the data, the specificity of muscle wasting with heart failure became notable. Dr von Haehling, scientific coordinator of the study, commented on the results as follows: "We have managed to identify a new subgroup of patients with chronic heart failure, for which a very specific therapy development appears highly promising. If this is successful, we could significantly improve the quality of life of our patients." He expects to extract further important information about heart failure from the data now available. According to estimates, about 14 million Europeans suffer from chronic heart failure; many of them are over 70 years old. Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in the Western world.
PD Dr. Dr. Stephan von Haehling
Medizinische Klinik mit Schwerpunkt Kardiologie
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
t: +49 30 450 553 506
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