By: Elena Grace Flores
It has been a tradition by practitioners to prescribe sleeping pills to the patients with heart problems after discharging them from the hospital – for their intended recovery at home. However, it has been noted also that the more the patients are hospitalized the worst their heart condition become. This triggered researchers to review the prescription of discharged patients – and the focus was brought to sleeping pills since they are the most consistently prescribed drugs.
111 cardiac patients were involved in the testing of the sleeping pill connection with the deteriorating heart ailments. Their records were reviewed after being admitted to Japan’s Tokyo Yamate Medical Center from 2011 to 2013. Electrocardiogram results, echocardiograms analysis and chest radiographs viewings were analyzed. There were 3 group classifications done for the tests. The first group consists of diastolic heart failure patients, next are the ones with reduced ejection fraction and lastly the group of systolic heart failure patients. Fatal cases and frequent hospital readmissions were notable among patients with diastolic heart failure.
There was a trend noticed also among patients. Patients with sleeping pills prescription even up to the latest stage of their ailment suffered at least 8 times re-hospitalization than those whose sleeping pills prescription was discontinued. Others end up dead with the worsened condition. The length of their benzodiazepine hypnotic treatment was measured in the differences of blood sodium levels when admitted and blood hemoglobin levels when discharged.
The findings were assumed to be the effect of Benzodiazepine hypnotics having cardiodepressant actions. Respiratory depressant actions can occur which lead to sleep disordered breathing that is fatal. Dr. Masahiko Setoguchi who led the research team of the Social Insurance Central General Hospital in Tokyo, Japan, clarified that sleeping disorders are side effects of heart failure thus, the reason of sleeping pills prescription. This study was initiated based on the Heart Failure Congress 2014 presentation in Athens, Greece.