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“ACE Inhibitors” and “ARBs” To Protect Your Heart? A Guide for Patients Being Treated for Stable Coronary Heart Disease

You have coronary heart disease, a disease affecting the arteries of your heart. You may have had a heart attack or suffer from chest pains with exercise, but your symptoms are not changing. Your coronary heart disease is in “stable” condition. This means that your symptoms have not changed or become worse. Your doctor recommends adding a medicine called an ACE Inhibitor or an ARB. You do not take medicine for high blood pressure (also called “hypertension”).

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: July 9, 2010

Exercise‐based rehabilitation for coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the single most common cause of death globally. However, with falling CHD mortality rates, an increasing number of people live with CHD and may need support to manage their symptoms and reduce the chances of future problems such as heart attacks. Exercise‐based cardiac rehabilitation aims to improve the health and outcome of people with CHD.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Tong‐xin‐luo capsule for patients with coronary heart disease after percutaneous coronary intervention

Background: Coronary heart disease is a major cause of mortality globally. Percutaneous coronary intervention is regarded as a standard treatment for coronary heart disease to improve symptoms of heart‐related chest pain. However, a major drawback of percutaneous coronary intervention is the need for a repeat procedure due to symptoms related to recurring narrowing of the heart's blood vessels. Previous studies have indicated that Tong‐xin‐luo capsule, a Chinese herbal medicine product, might be effective in preventing recurrence of narrowing of a blood vessel after percutaneous coronary intervention.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Dietary advice by dietitians to lower blood cholesterol can be more effective than advice by doctors, but may not be more effective than self‐help resources.

Blood cholesterol level is an important indicator of the risk of heart disease. This review looked at the effectiveness of dietary advice given by dietitians to lower blood cholesterol, compared with the effectiveness of dietary advice given by other types of health professional or using self‐help resources. The review found that advice by dietitians to lower blood cholesterol was more effective than that of doctors (in the short to medium term), but possibly not more effective than using self‐help resources. There was no evidence to suggest that dietary advice given by dietitians was more effective than that given by nurses.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare. 2nd edition

How do we know whether a particular treatment really works? How reliable is the evidence? And how do we ensure that research into medical treatments best meets the needs of patients? These are just a few of the questions addressed in a lively and informative way in Testing Treatments. Brimming with vivid examples, Testing Treatments will inspire both patients and professionals.

Pinter & Martin.

Version: 2011
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Exercise‐based rehabilitation for heart failure

People with heart failure experience marked reductions in their exercise capacity, which has detrimental effects on their activities of daily living, health‐related quality of life and ultimately their hospital admission rate and mortality.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

B‐type natriuretic peptide‐guided treatment for heart failure patients

We aimed to discover whether using B‐type natriuretic‐guided treatment or a health plan alone is more effective for managing patients with heart failure.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics

The goal of this book is to help you better understand health information by teaching you about the numbers behind the messages—the medical statistics on which the claims are based. The book will also familiarize you with risk charts, which are designed to help you put your health concerns in perspective. By learning to understand the numbers and knowing what questions to ask, you’ll be able to see through the hype and find the credible information—if any—that remains.

University of California Press.

Version: 2008
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Fibrates for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of fibrates for the prevention of major events including heart attacks, strokes, and circulatory disease death in people with existing circulatory disease.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Co‐enzyme Q10 supplementation for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the result of complications of the heart and blood vessels and is a worldwide healthcare burden. However, it is thought that CVD risk can be lowered by changing a number of modifiable risk factors, such as diet. Dietary supplements have received a great deal of attention for the prevention of CVD. One such supplement is coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is an antioxidant. Deficiencies in CoQ10 have been associated with CVD. This review therefore assessed the effectiveness of CoQ10 supplementation for CVD prevention. We included trials administering CoQ10 as a single supplement in healthy adults or those at high risk of CVD (but without a diagnosis of CVD) and measuring cardiovascular events or major CVD risk factors, such as blood pressure and lipid levels. We found six completed randomised controlled trials with a total of 218 participants randomised. All were conducted in participants at high risk of CVD. Two examined CoQ10 supplementation alone and four examined CoQ10 supplementation in patients on statin therapy. The trials were small and short‐term, none measured cardiovascular events or adverse events, and we regarded two of the six trials as being at high risk of bias. Very few small trials contributed to the analyses and no conclusions can be drawn at this time. We also identified five ongoing trials and the results from these will add to the evidence base in due course. More longer‐term trials are needed to determine the effect of CoQ10 on cardiovascular events.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Intercessory Prayer for the alleviation of ill health

Intercessory prayer is one of the oldest and most common interventions used with the intention of alleviating illness and promoting good health. It is practised by many faiths and involves a person or group setting time aside to petition God (or a god) on behalf of another who is in some kind of need. This review examines whether there is a difference in outcome for people who are prayed for by name whilst ill, or recovering from an illness or operation, and those who are not. Both groups of people still received their usual treatment for their illness. Ten trials were found which randomised a total of 7646 people. The majority of these compared prayer (for someone to become well) plus treatment as usual with treatment as usual without prayer. One trial had two prayer groups, comparing participants who knew they were being prayed for with those who did not.  Another trial prayed retroactively, randomising people a month to 6 years after they were admitted to hospital. Each trial had people with different illnesses. These included leukaemia, heart problems, blood infection, alcohol abuse and psychological or rheumatic disease. In one trial people were judged to be at high or low risk of death and placed in relevant groups.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

General physical health care advice for people with serious mental illness

People with serious mental illness tend to have poorer physical health than the general population with a greater risk of contracting diseases and often die at an early age. In schizophrenia, for example, life expectancy is reduced by about 10 years. People with mental health problems have higher rates of heart problems (cardiovascular disease), infectious diseases (including HIV and AIDS), diabetes, breathing and respiratory disease, and cancer.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Triclosan/copolymer containing toothpastes for oral health

This review has been conducted to assess the effects of using a toothpaste containing triclosan (an antibacterial ingredient) plus copolymer (an ingredient to reduce the amount of triclosan that is washed away by rinsing or saliva) plus fluoride (a mineral that prevents tooth decay) compared with using a fluoride toothpaste (without triclosan/copolymer) for oral health.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Cigarette Smoking: Health Risks and How to Quit (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about research and guidelines focused on the prevention and cessation of cigarette smoking.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: December 16, 2016

Smart Health Choices: Making Sense of Health Advice

This book aims to help consumers and practitioners develop the skills to assess health advice – and hopefully to make decisions that will improve the quality of their care. For some people, making better-informed decisions could be life saving. We hope that it will be useful if you are struggling to come to terms with an illness or injury, and the best ways of managing it. Or you may simply want to lead a healthier life, and may be wondering how to make sense of the often conflicting flood of health information that deluges us every day, through the media, and from our friends and health practitioners.

Hammersmith Press.

Version: 2008
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Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 11, 2016

Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of unusual cancers of childhood such as cancers of the head and neck, chest, abdomen, reproductive system, skin, and others.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 6, 2017

Treatments for coarctation of the thoracic aorta

Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is a congenital narrowing of the lumen in a section of the aorta. The narrowing is most commonly in the upper thoracic aorta but can occur in the abdominal aorta. It is present at birth and males are more often affected than females. Clinical symptoms are variable and depend on the position, degree and extent of the narrowed segment of the aorta. Other congenital heart abnormalities may also be present. In general, the diagnosis is made by finding a difference in pulsations and blood pressure between the upper body and arms and the lower body and legs. If left unrepaired, average survival is 31 years. The treatment of CoA is intended to improve life expectancy and quality of life by reducing the incidence of aortic and cardiac disabling conditions such as aneurysm (dilation) of the ascending aorta, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and aortic and mitral valvular disease. The treatment of CoA consists of enlarging of the narrowed segment. Traditionally this required open heart surgery. Balloon angioplasty became available as an alternative treatment in the 1980s but recurrence, aneurysm and aortic dissection (a tear in the inner wall of the aorta causing blood to flow between the layers of the blood vessel wall) remained disadvantages of both treatments. In the early 1990s, endovascular stents were introduced and have become an alternative approach to surgical repair. The present review looked at the available evidence for the effectiveness of open surgery compared with placing a stent in the coarctation of the thoracic aorta. The review authors searched the medical literature but they did not found any studies that compared open surgery and stent placement for the treatment of coarctation of the thoracic aorta. The treatment of CoA is a challenging procedure and the centers that perform this treatment have a well‐established strategy for patients with CoA; the strategy is in accordance with the experience of involved professionals and local resources. In both situations experience and resources have improved the results of the treatment. However a more concrete and long‐term analysis of these strategies is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Treatment for speech disorder in Friedreich ataxia and other hereditary ataxia syndromes (inherited disorders of movement co‐ordination)

We reviewed the evidence about the effects of treatment on speech difficulties in people with Friedreich ataxia and other hereditary ataxias.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of thymoma and thymic carcinoma.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 9, 2016

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