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1.  Home Monitoring for Heart Failure Management 
With a prevalence of 5.8 million in the United States alone, heart failure (HF) is a common syndrome associated with substantial morbidity, mortality, and health-care expenditures. Close to 1 million HF hospitalizations occur annually in the United States, with the majority of these resulting from worsening congestion in patients previously diagnosed with HF. An estimated 37.2 billion dollars is spent each year on HF in the United States. These statistics emphasize the need to develop and implement more effective strategies to assess, monitor, and treat HF. It has also become increasingly apparent that interventions geared towards identifying and monitoring sub-clinical congestion would be of value in the home management of chronic HF. Earlier identification and treatment of congestion together with improved care coordination, management of comorbid conditions, and enhanced patient self-management may help to prevent hospitalizations in patients with chronic HF. Such home monitoring extends from the promotion of self-care and home visitations, to telemedicine and remote monitoring of external or implantable devices. This paper will discuss the challenges in monitoring patients with HF, review clinical trials testing different monitoring strategies in HF, and highlight ongoing investigations into the optimal approaches to home monitoring for HF.
doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2011.09.044
PMCID: PMC3254025  PMID: 22222071
heart failure; ambulatory monitoring; home care; telemedicine; disease management
2.  Epidemiology and risk profile of heart failure 
Nature reviews. Cardiology  2010;8(1):30-41.
Heart failure (HF) is a major public health issue, with a prevalence of over 5.8 million in the USA, and over 23 million worldwide, and rising. The lifetime risk of developing HF is one in five. Although promising evidence shows that the age-adjusted incidence of HF may have plateaued, HF still carries substantial morbidity and mortality, with 5-year mortality that rival those of many cancers. HF represents a considerable burden to the health-care system, responsible for costs of more than $39 billion annually in the USA alone, and high rates of hospitalizations, readmissions, and outpatient visits. HF is not a single entity, but a clinical syndrome that may have different characteristics depending on age, sex, race or ethnicity, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) status, and HF etiology. Furthermore, pathophysiological differences are observed among patients diagnosed with HF and reduced LVEF compared with HF and preserved LVEF, which are beginning to be better appreciated in epidemiological studies. A number of risk factors, such as ischemic heart disease, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and diabetes, among others, have been identified that both predict the incidence of HF as well as its severity. In this Review, we discuss key features of the epidemiology and risk profile of HF.
doi:10.1038/nrcardio.2010.165
PMCID: PMC3033496  PMID: 21060326
3.  Cystatin C and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Asymptomatic Adults: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) 
Background
Persons with early kidney disease have an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality, but the importance of accelerated atherosclerosis in promoting these outcomes is unclear. We therefore explored whether serum cystatin C level is associated with carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in ambulatory adults without clinical heart disease.
Study Design
Cross-sectional study.
Setting & Participants
We evaluated 6,557 ethnically diverse persons free of clinical cardiovascular disease aged 45 to 84 years at the baseline visit of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
Predictors
Kidney function was estimated by using 2 methods: serum cystatin C level and estimated glomerular filtration rate, based on creatinine and cystatin C levels.
Outcomes & Measurements
Study outcomes were internal and common carotid IMT, measured by using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were used to evaluate the independent association of kidney function with carotid IMT.
Results
In unadjusted linear analysis, each SD (0.23 mg/L) greater cystatin C level was associated with 0.091-mm greater internal carotid IMT (P < 0.001), but this association was diminished by 70% after adjustment for age, sex, and race/ethnicity (0.027 mm; P < 0.001) and was no longer significant after adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors (0.005 mm; P = 0.5). Similarly, the strong unadjusted associations of cystatin C level with common carotid IMT disappeared after adjustment. Chronic kidney disease, defined by using either creatinine level or cystatin C–based estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, had no independent association with internal and common carotid IMT.
Limitations
There were few participants with severe kidney disease.
Conclusions
Cystatin C level had no independent association with carotid IMT in a population free of clinical heart disease. This observation suggests that accelerated atherosclerosis is unlikely to be the primary mechanism explaining the independent association of cystatin C level with cardiovascular risk.
doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.06.025
PMCID: PMC3046734  PMID: 18823684
Cystatin C; intima-media thickness (IMT); atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; kidney

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