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Patients take heart from new guidelines

Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) should offer hope to patients suffering from chronic heart failure, according to campaigning coalition The Medical Technology Group.
Cardiac resynchronisation therapy (CRT) has been recommended for use by NICE for patients that have moderate to severe forms of chronic heart failure and whom have not responded to drug treatment, meaning thousands of patients may be eligible on the NHS for this life saving therapy.
"We really welcome this decision," said an MTG Spokesperson.
"This is great news for patients. This treatment has a really positive impact on quality of life and can reduce the amount of time they have to spend in hospital."

CRT works by improving the pumping efficiency of the heart by resynchronising the left and right chambers. 

For patients with an additional risk of sudden death, a CRT device with a defibrillator may be recommended by physicians.

CRT has been proven to improve patient's quality of life, reduce the amount of time spent in hospital and increase their life expectancy.  As hospitalisations for heart failure account for 2% of hospital in-patient days a reduction has the potential to ease economic and resource demands on the NHS.
Between 700,000 and 900,000 individuals in the UK suffer from chronic heart failure making this a major health problem.  Deaths from heart failure are more than all the cases of cancer annually. Heart failure is consistently one of the top 10 reasons for hospital admission.

Data from the London Heart Failure Study shows that around 40% of people die within one year of an initial diagnosis of heart failure. The most common cause of heart failure in England and Wales is coronary heart disease.