Monitoring Protein Didn’t Improve Heart Failure Outcomes

By Dr. Matthew Watson

(HealthDay News) -- Using the biomarker molecule known as brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) to guide treatment for older people with chronic heart failure did not improve the clinical outcome in most cases in a Swiss study.

There have been conflicting reports about the value of monitoring blood levels of BNP, a protein produced by stressed heart cells, for better management of heart failure. For example, a French study reported in 2007 found that BNP monitoring reduced deaths and hospitalizations in a 115-participant trial.

But the new study, published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association by physicians at University Hospital Basel, found that BNP-monitored therapy guidance generally did not improve 18-month survival or quality of life over conventional symptom-guided therapy.

All the people in the trial were 60 or older. All were hospitalized for heart failure, and all had BNP blood levels at least double the normal readings. Read more...

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